FTC Announces Campaign to Assist Small Businesses with Strengthening Their Cybersecurity

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The FTC has been ramping up its efforts to help small businesses understand cybersecurity and learn best practices for promoting cybersecurity in their organizations.    According to the FTC, cyber-attacks on small businesses threaten their reputations, and sometimes their survival.  The FTC’s efforts are aimed at helping small businesses to avoid these consequences by instructing them on how to protect their computers and networks, keep their customers’ data safe, and avoid scams.

Currently, the FTC offers cybersecurity guidance to businesses of all sizes through various written publications, websites, videos, webinars, and presentations.  These materials are distributed through partnerships that the FTC has with industry associations, trade groups, and other government agencies.

In 2017, the FTC held small business cybersecurity roundtable discussions, and launched a website aimed specifically at assisting small businesses avoid scams and protect their data.  Using the information gained from its discussions with small businesses through these methods, the FTC launched its latest campaign, which aims at providing small businesses with plain-language advice on how to handle cybersecurity, including information on everything from phishing scams to tips for what to consider when choosing a cybersecurity vendor.

In this vein, the FTC announced that it will create a suite of training modules and videos containing information on issues that small business owners identified as important.  Some of those issues include, but are not limited to, phishing, ransomware, protecting mobile devices, email authentication, cloud security, tech support scams, vendor security, how to compare offers of web hosting services, wi-fi, and understanding the National Institute of Standards and Technology cybersecurity framework.

The FTC will continue to use its partnerships with industry associations, trade groups, and other government agencies in order to disseminate the new materials that it plans to release in 2018.

More information regarding the currently available FTC resources, and the FTC’s plans to educate small businesses on cyber security in 2018, can be found here.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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