Death by Cyber Security!

Cyber! Cyber! Cyber!

It seems like that’s all you hear about these days, particularly in the world of government procurement.  So what’s all the big push?

If you are not an IT company then it may seem very foreign to you and the importance of it may escape you. Personally, I count myself as one of the relative unknowing in the masses as far as how people get into my computer from around the net. But in the last few months, I have become greatly aware that my “they won’t come after me” attitude will not hold water. Small businesses are getting hacked all the time and a stat that was passed on to me is that 60% of all small businesses that get hacked are out of business in 6 months.

Add to that that, if you do not implement minimal security requirements while working with the DoD they can cancel your existing contracts, exclude you from future competition, and can even charge you if you lie to them. Do not wait until you are losing revenue to implement some basic measures to protect your systems. And we can help.

On December 12th, Manufacturer’s Edge is hosting an event in Loveland titled “The Importance of Cybersecurity for Manufacturers with Pat Toth.” I would recommend it for any industry. Pat Toth is a Computer Scientist with NIST, the National Institute of Science and Technology, and is the author of NIST SP 800-171. You know, that requirement everyone is trying to meet by 31 December. No better company to keep if you are trying to figure it all out. Manufacturer’s Edge is a great partner to Colorado PTAC and I can wholeheartedly endorse this event.

Another great opportunity to gain some knowledge is on the 19th of December where Colorado PTAC, the Pikes Peak NMCA, and Pikes Peak SBDC are teaming to bring you a full morning of training on various topics, a lot of them on cyber issues. Register for that program here.

Coming into compliance with NIST SP 800-171 is not an insurmountable task. I have read the requirements and they are not that hard to address but you do need to examine what you are doing now and what you need to implement. When you leave your house or your car I bet you lock them.  Data is every bit as valuable so we should do our part to protect it. I hope to see you at a training event soon!

 – Dennis Casey, Executive Director, Colorado PTAC

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