Free cybersecurity tool can help Wisconsin small businesses

MADISON – More than half of cyberattacks target small businesses. To help prevent them from losing valuable customers, time and money, the Wisconsin Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network has made available a free cybersecurity tool.

“Small Business, Big Threat” — — offers a confidential risk assessment and cybersecurity resource overview for small business owners and employees who are nontechnical. The web tool was developed by the Michigan SBDC in 2015 with support from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

“This hourlong assessment is a great starting point to arm business owners with information that can otherwise seem overwhelming,” said Bon Wikenheiser, state SBDC director. “Business that ditch the ‘it won’t happen to me’ mentality can understand and avoid threats from phishing, malware and password hacking. Even a lost smartphone or tablet could be a problem if left in the wrong hands.”

Damages from cybercrime globally are predicted to cost $6 trillion annually by 2021, up from $3 trillion in 2015, according to a report by Cybersecurity Ventures. According to UPS Capital:

• Cyberattacks cost small businesses $84,000 to $148,000.
• 60 percent of small businesses that suffer a cyberattack go out of business within six months.
• 90 percent of small businesses don’t use any kind of data protection for company and customer information.

“Small businesses need resources so they can guard against cyberattacks or deal with their aftermath,” Wikenheiser said. “This tool increases the cybersecurity awareness of small business owners and fosters a safer, more vibrant business economy.”

Once participants complete their “Small Business, Big Threat” risk assessment, they can connect with additional training resources and tips, with the ultimate goal of creating and acting on a plan to protect their business for the future.

About Wisconsin SBDC Network

The Wisconsin Small Business Development Center is a 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 Administration.