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Pikes Peak Region small businesses get warning memo about cyberattacks

Small Business Development Center offering to help bolster cybersecurity
Pikes Peak Region small businesses get warning memo about cyberattacks
Posted at 5:30 PM, Feb 25, 2022

COLORADO SPRINGS — With world leaders imposing sanctions on Russia as a result of the attack on Ukraine, cybersecurity experts say Russian hackers are expected to launch cyberattacks not only as retaliation, but also to raise funds to continue their operations. News5 explains why our small business owners are being urged to be prepared.

Right now in the Pikes Peak Region a memo is being shared with small businesses urging them to bolster their cybersecurity efforts because hackers like to target smaller operations with less security then demand money to give it back.

"You know, small businesses immediately started reaching out and asking questions on hey is this going to affect me?," said Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center Lead Cyber Consultant Shawn P. Murray.

As the battle rages in Ukraine, the memo was sent out to small businesses across the Pikes Peak Region by the lead cyber consultant for the small business development center urging small business owners to ask the tough cybersecurity questions like, how long can your operation be down due to a cyberattack before it negatively disrupts your business? And what steps need to be taken to defend against the anticipated uptick in hacking attempts?

"What I try to tell our small businesses is it doesn't matter what your industry is 80% of your business processes are automated. You're using some kind of technology. How is that being protected? That's not necessarily their forte," said Murray.

Cybersecurity experts believe Russian hackers will be looking for every opportunity to generate revenue by launching ransomware on companies in order to off-set the economic impact of sanctions.

"The idea is you pay them to get your information back," warned Murray.

Michael Tipton runs Integrity Communications Solutions, a small business with a lot at stake working with the Department Of Defense.

"At the end of the day we operate on technology," said Tipton. "It's a convenience factor, but for that convenience there's a price. What price are you willing to pay?"

He says investing in multi-factor authentication and other means to keep hackers at bay is crucial to defend against relentless attacks from people who aren't afraid of being caught.

"As a small business it isn't fair that there aren't a crimes unit to go after the countries or agencies that are attacking and trying to steal, but it's no different than you trying to protect your own home," said Tipton. "If the things in that are in my house are valuable enough to protect then I need to work on that level of protection."

Trying to bolster those cybersecurity measures for your small business can at times seem overwhelming, but there are experts and resources to help in our area.

Check out the memo and find cybersecurity help here:
https://pikespeaksbdc.org/what-we-do/programs/sbdc-techsource-cyber-cya/
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