Why Cybersecurity Awareness is Critical to #SmallBiz

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New Hampshire District Office - October 21, 2022 

u s small business administration
Illustration of a person in front of a laptop with the following text, Cybersecurity Awareness Month. The SBA logo is at the bottom.

Since 2004, the President of the United States and Congress have declared October to be Cybersecurity Awareness Month, helping individuals and businesses protect themselves online as threats to technology and confidential data become more commonplace. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the National Cybersecurity Alliance (NCA) lead a collaborative effort between government and industry to raise cybersecurity awareness nationally and internationally. 

Amy Bassett

Amy K. Bassett

NH District Director

Cybersecurity is the biggest threat to small businesses. Unfortunately, too many small businesses think they are too small to be a target. Attack bots are deployed online 24/7 looking for cracks in your company security, regardless of company size. 

Learn from recent attack examples that have taken down companies, insurance coverage, technical protection, cost-effective safeguards, free assessment services offered by the government, recommendations on what to look at for managed service providers and cyber practices to position your company for growth.

Why cybersecurity matters

Cyberattacks cost the U.S. economy billions of dollars a year and pose a threat for individuals and organizations.  Small businesses are especially attractive targets because they have information that cybercriminals (bad actors, foreign governments, etc.) want, and they typically lack the security infrastructure of larger businesses to adequately protect their digital systems for storing, accessing and disseminating data and information.

Surveys have shown that a majority of small business owners feel their businesses are vulnerable to a cyberattack.  Yet many small businesses cannot afford professional IT solutions, have limited time to devote to cybersecurity, and don't know where to begin.

Some best practices for preventing cyberattacks 

Photo of two people and a person tying on a laptop with the following text, SBA Cyber Summit on October 26 at Noon EDT

Cyber Security Summit

October 26 

12noon - 5pm

SBA will convene Experts from the Cybersecurity and Business Worlds to Share Best Practices and Practical Tools to Help Small Businesses Bolster Their Cyber Defenses


  • Isabella Casillas Guzman, Administrator, U.S. Small Business Administration
  • Brad Smith, Vice Chair and President, Microsoft
  • Kiersten Todt, Chief of Staff, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA), U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • Kimberly Mentzell, Director of Cybersecurity and Aerospace, Maryland Department of Commerce
  • Jacob Blacksten, Digital Solutions Manager, Delaware Small Business Development Center
  • Earl Gregorich, Area Manager & Business Consultant, Greenville Area Small Business Development Centers
  • Joshua Lawton, Director of Engagement (Americas), Global Cyber Alliance
  • Scott Anderson, Executive Director, Forge Institute
  • Eric Toler, Executive Director, Georgia Cyber Center
  • Ashley Podhradsky, Associate Professor of Digital Forensics, Dakota State University
  • Jennifer Gold, Director of the Board, InfraGard New York Chapter
  • Arthur Plews, Chief of Staff, U.S. Small Business Administration
  • Mark Madrid, Associate Administrator, U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Entrepreneurial Development
  • Jennifer Kim, Associate Administrator, U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Field Operations
  • Larry Stubblefield, Associate Administrator, U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Veterans Business Development
  • Bruce Purdy, Associate Administrator, U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Small Development Centers
  • Jack Bienko, Senior Innovation Advisor, U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Entrepreneurial Development
  • Aikta Marcoulier, Regional Administrator – Rocky Mountain region, U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Field Operations

Additional speakers and schedule to be announced. The schedule is subject to changes. 

See Press Release Here


Upcoming Cybersecurity Awareness Webinars

Cybersecurity for Small Businesses 

October 27


When cyber threats impact big businesses, it become a major news story. Small businesses, including solopreneurs, are also primary targets of cyber criminals. According to the FBI’s 2021 Internet Crime Report, in 2021 there were over 847,000 cyber incidences reported, representing an 180% increase over 2017 and costing businesses over $18.7 billion.

Join SBA Rhode Island, SBA Regional Office, and SCORE Rhode Island on Cybersecurity for Small Businesses. This webinar will discuss the challenges small businesses face as a result of cyber-attacks. We will provide practical cybersecurity advice and answer any questions you may have on how to protect your systems and business against cyber threats. This webinar will feature an introduction by Mike Vlacich, the SBA Regional Administrator for the New England, as well as Rhode Island District Director Mark S. Hayward. Michael Monwuba, who is SCORE Rhode Island Subject Matter Expert on cybersecurity, will provide a brief presentation followed by a panel discussion. 

The panelists include cybersecurity experts Michael Monwuba, SCORE Rhode Island, Marion Michaud, SCORE Merrimack Valley, NH, and Bill Cameron, who is a partner at 3Comply, a security compliance company.


Nov 30th


Social Media Safety and Online Security for Business Owners and Business Accounts - SCORE 

Learn best practices for managing your business social media accounts including how to maintain secure access to your business accounts, how to limit administrative access for employees and outside contractors. How to identify and avoid unsafe and unsecure applications that commonly integrate with business accounts and how to identify fraudulent social accounts that may trick you or your staff into giving them access to your business accounts and business information. 

Register Here

SCORE Recorded Webinars

Cybersecurity 101 - How to Protect Your Business from Cyber Threats

Small Business Cybersecurity and Scam Defense Strategy Update for 2022-2023

E- Course Offered by NH SBDC

Cybersecurity for Small Businesses

Reducing a Small Business’ Potential Cybersecurity Risks Checklist

SBA Awards Grant to UNHInnovation to Help Underserved Small Businesses Succeed in Research and Development

Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs

Concord-  The U.S. Small Business Administration issued a grant to UNHInnovation, to provide specialized training, mentoring, and technical assistance for research and development (R&D)-focused small businesses under the Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership Program

 “We are excited that UNHInnovation has been awarded an SBA grant through the FAST Partnership Program for the third year in a row,” said Amy Bassett NH SBA district director.  “This funding will enable more businesses to access SBIR/STTR funding in developing their technology businesses and provide education, training, and support to New Hampshire small businesses.”

 “We are looking forward to continuing to work with UNHInnovation and supporting their efforts to help small businesses gain greater access to federal research dollars,” said Mike Vlacich SBA New England Regional Administrator. “Our FAST partners play a critical role in helping us build a stronger economy by increasing access to research grants to women, minorities, businesses in rural areas and other socially and economically disadvantage individuals.”

FAST seeks to improve outcomes in the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs for underserved communities by increasing participation from women-owned, rural-based, and socially or economically disadvantaged small businesses.   

UNHInnovation, a department of the University of New Hampshire and the administer of the grant, leveraged the first round of FAST funding to launch a program called FOSTER (Focused SBIR/STTR Teaching, Equity and Results) to provide education, training, and grant proposal support to New Hampshire small businesses. The FOSTER program has provided SBIR/STTR training to New Hampshire companies, with some of those companies representing underserved communities.

The FOSTER program’s success is due in large part to its collaborative approach. Its Ambassador Network, which is made up of partner organizations around New Hampshire, has enabled the program to engage the entire state to help identify and support potential participants, particularly those that are women-owned, rural-based and socially-economically disadvantaged. Anyone interested in learning more can check out http://innovation.unh.edu/FOSTER to learn about the program and upcoming events.

“Receiving this third year of funding will be instrumental in growing the momentum we’ve built over the past two years,” said Marc Eichenberger, Associate Vice President & Chief Business Development and Innovation Officer at UNHInnovation. “With the extension of this grant, we can offer continued support to New Hampshire companies through training and engagements, as well as direct support through our microgrant program. We’re motivated by the progress we’ve made over the past two years, and we look forward to expanding our impact again this year.”

UNHInnovation is one of 44 grant awardees nationwideThe FAST Partnership Program makes awards for a base period of 12 months, plus two optional continuation periods of 12 months, if eligible.  

About UNHInnovation (UNHI) and UNH

UNHInnovation advocates for and manages the transfer of UNH-derived ideas to the public to maximize their social and economic impact. UNHI protects, promotes, and manages UNH's innovations, supports start-up companies based on UNH’s intellectual property, and develops new opportunities for university and industry collaboration. For more information https://innovation.unh.edu/

The University of New Hampshire is a flagship research university that inspires innovation and transforms lives in our state, nation, and world. More than 16,000 students from all 50 states and 71 countries engage with an award-winning faculty in top ranked programs in business, engineering, law, health and human services, liberal arts, and the sciences across more than 200 programs of study. A Carnegie Classification R1 institution, UNH partners with NASA, NOAA, NSF, and NIH, and received $260 million in competitive external funding in FY21 to further explore and define the frontiers of land, sea, and space. For more information https://www.unh.edu/

About FAST

In FY 2022, $6 million was appropriated for entities to carry out activities defined under the FAST Partnership Program legislative authority. Entities from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands are eligible to receive funding to provide outreach, technical, and financial assistance. These efforts are focused on elevating and expanding the ecosystem support network that works with technology developing entrepreneurs, startups, and existing small businesses. FAST’s primary goal is to help tech entrepreneurs who have traditionally been left out of federal R&D programs by successfully applying, winning, and executing SBIR and STTR awards. Additional information can be found at www.sbir.gov/about-fast.


SBA coordinates the SBIR/STTR programs, known as America’s Seed Fund across the 11 participating federal agencies. Over $4 billion in early-stage seed capital was provided in FY 2022 through over 7,000 awards to more than 4,000 small businesses. Federal agencies announce funding opportunities as either grants or contracts to address their research and development needs. Companies supported by America’s Seed Fund often generate some of the most important breakthroughs each year in the U.S. Additional information about the programs, as well as past and current topics can be found at www.sbir.gov.

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Ways to Connect with SBA New Hampshire:


Phone: 603-225-1400