The Cyber Readiness Institute (CRI) has launched its Cyber Readiness Program, designed to educate and equip small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) with the tools and resources necessary to address security issues around authentication, phishing, patching, and USB use. The goal is to engage a company’s entire workforce, create a culture of cyber readiness, and build a more cyber secure and resilient organization.
“The internet is an amazing thing that has opened new doors and new opportunities for all. At the same time, it does not have an inherent prioritization of security,” said Ajay Banga, president and CEO of Mastercard and co-chair of the Cyber Readiness Institute. “Since cyber threats treat everyone the same, there are some foundational steps we can take to strengthen all the links in today’s supply chain. And that starts with best practices and proven tools for smaller business owners who do not have the same resources to invest in these efforts.”
The institute cites research showing that 58 percent of data breach victims are small businesses. On top of this, many SMBs report doing very little to protect themselves because they lack the required resources, capabilities, and knowledge to do so.
The Cyber Readiness Program was developed with input from leading security experts at global companies, subject matter experts, and feedback from a pilot program of SMBs. The free, self-guided online program provides resources and tools, including policies, posters, and workforce education materials, that align with each step of the program. A pilot program with 19 small organizations from across the globe and of various sizes has recently been completed.
The program focuses on embedding basic cyber policies and processes into a company’s operating culture.