News

Self-guided cybersecurity course provides critical education for small businesses, professionals

A new on-demand course has been developed to prepare small businesses and tech professionals against the growing threat of cyberattacks. 

The Cybersecurity Analyst I pathway is part of TechEd Frontiers, an online learning platform at the UW-Milwaukee School of Continuing Education designed to serve the business community. The Wisconsin Small Business Development (SBDC) Network is making the course available to 150 individuals at no cost using CARES Act funds available through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).  

The noncredit course focuses on four key areas: threat management, vulnerability management, incident response and security/architecture tool sets. Each self-paced module is designed for two weeks of learning, about eight hours each week.  

“Data breaches can prove fatal due to reputation damage, six-figure financial losses and legal costs,” said Ron Wiza, interim director for TechEd Frontiers. “Even though cyberattacks against big businesses make the headlines, in reality, small businesses are common, vulnerable targets that we want to protect through this partnership.”

According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Report, the cost of cybercrimes reached $2.7 billion in 2020 – a growing threat to the U.S. economy. As a result, 88 percent of small business owners surveyed by the SBA felt at risk. 

Yet only 28 percent of small businesses in the CNBC|Momentive Q3 2021 Small Business Survey said they have a plan in case of attack.  

“If you have a business with 20 to 100 employees, you need to educate a point person who can plug the holes in your boat to avoid a malware or phishing attack,” said Colleen Merrill, associate state director for the Wisconsin SBDC Network. “Someone who takes this course will know the terms, the landscape and the mitigation needed.” 

The Wisconsin SBDC offers no-cost, confidential consulting and education to new and existing businesses. In 2020, the SBDC served 7,870 clients, resulting in $107.5 million in capital investment, 256 new businesses and 26,275 jobs supported.  

“Since 60 percent of small businesses can end up closing after a cyberattack, the SBDC wants companies to feel like they are empowered to guard against such an existential threat,” Merrill said. 

To sign up for the course, go to www.wisconsinsbdc.org/cybersecurity.  

You can also find additional resources there, including an hourlong interactive educational quiz.

About the Wisconsin SBDC 

The Wisconsin Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is a nationally accredited statewide network supporting entrepreneurs and business owners through no-cost, confidential consulting and business education. Regional SBDC experts facilitate improvement and growth for small and emerging mid-size companies and help launch successful new enterprises. The Wisconsin SBDC is hosted by the University of Wisconsin System under the Institute for Business & Entrepreneurship. www.wisconsinSBDC.org   

About UW-Milwaukee School of Continuing Education 

UW-Milwaukee’s School of Continuing Education is the largest provider of professional development in southeastern Wisconsin, from individual courses and certificate programs to daylong events and conferences, as well as personal enrichment learning opportunities for all ages. https://uwm.edu/sce/  

### 

Wisconsin SBDC launches series of short entrepreneurial how-to videos

A new video series addressing the most common technical business questions from Wisconsin entrepreneurs is now available from the Wisconsin Small Business Development (SBDC) Network.