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New cybersecurity grant now available to Southern Colorado small businesses

The grant will teach small businesses about cybersecurity while training UCCS students to join the workforce.
Posted at 4:38 PM, Aug 23, 2023

EL PASO COUNTY, CO — A new resource is available in our community that many small business owners may not think of until it's too late.

The Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center, along with the National Cybersecurity Center and UCCS, received a grant of $927,236 from the U.S. Small Business Administration. It's meant to help small businesses in our area with cybersecurity.

"The biggest reason why they're [small businesses] at risk is because there's nobody in the organization that has it as their primary responsibility," said Program Director with the National Cybersecurity Center Jonah Wisch.

The lessons to business owners will show them what steps to take to secure their files and data. As well as this, it will also train and certify cybersecurity students from UCCS to help those local businesses.

"[The students will] go into small businesses and help them with that process of saying 'hey here's where your vulnerabilities are, here's where some easy wins are for you," said Wisch.

The National Cyber Security Center says many small businesses aren't always aware of the cyber threats that are out there.

"The end goal here is that small businesses in Colorado are better prepared to face the cyber threats that are out there, and the first kind of line of defense in any of that is educating users," continued Wisch.

David Cannella is the president of Credit Service Company and
says while his company was always concerned about cybersecurity, the issue drew their attention when requesting to work with the government.

"We were actually looking at participating as a subcontractor in a federal government contract. Which had several significant cybersecurity and physical security guidelines," he told me.

He hopes this effort will help other small business owners like him get the resources they need while not feeling isolated.

"Hopefully it brings more and more awareness to the small business owner, and hopefully helps the small business owners out there know they're not alone," said Cannella.

Interested small business owners should contact the Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center if they're interested in getting help.

WATCH: PIKES PEAK REGION SMALL BUSINESSES GET WARNING MEMO ABOUT CYBERATTACKS

Pikes Peak Region small businesses get warning memo about cyberattacks

In 2022, the Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center warned businesses of the uptick in cyber attacks across the country by foreign actors.
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