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The Unseen Epidemic: How Cybercrime Impacts Small Businesses Every Day in the LA Economy

SecureTheVillage's Pilot Program Aims to Level the Playing Field for Small Businesses and Nonprofits in a World Where Only Big Business is Prepared

LOS ANGELES - PrZen -- Jay, a regional beer distributor in Los Angeles, was stunned to uncover a cyber breach within his company's system. "For six months, they had been watching our emails, copying our files," Jay recalls. The incident cost him more than $1,000,000. Jay's experience is one of many illustrating a growing epidemic that is hurting the economy of Los Angeles and communities nationwide.

The repercussions of these cyberattacks extend beyond the affected businesses, leaving a trail of lost jobs, reduced services, and permanently altered lives. When local nonprofits shut their doors, vital community services disappear.

If we fail to act, the crisis will grow.

Stan Stahl, PhD, Founder and President of Los Angeles nonprofit SecureTheVillage, notes that small and midsize businesses and nonprofits are particularly susceptible to cybercrime. According to the 2023 Verizon breach report, 5 out of 8 cybersecurity incidents target these smaller organizations, with more than half going out of business within six months, according to the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).

To combat this crisis, SecureTheVillage, has initiated the LA Cybersecure Pilot Program, partially funded by the Center for Internet Security's Alan Paller Laureate Program. The program aims to enhance cybersecurity practices among small organizations, equipping them to better defend against cybercrime.

The LA Cybersecure pilot program adopts a learn-by-doing teams-based approach to education and training, leveraging partnerships with three other nonprofits: Sightline Security, the Cyber Readiness Institute, and the Center for Internet Security.

The program also includes a Business Development Roundtable for IT service providers and MSPs, providing hands-on training and coaching to increase sales and client conversion rates.

Dr. Stahl expressed gratitude for the crucial role played by the Center for Internet Security Alan Paller Laureate Program, considering it a significant stride towards SecureTheVillage's vision of establishing the Los Angeles region as a cybersecurity model for the nation.

Jay's ordeal serves as both a cautionary tale and a rallying cry. It highlights the pressing need to tackle the escalating threat of cybercrime.

As noted above, if we fail to act, the crisis will grow. Organizations are encouraged to visit securethevillage.org to learn more about the LA Cybersecure pilot program and apply.

The Pilot Project Team

SecureTheVillage is a nonprofit on a mission to turn people and organizations into CyberGuardians with the knowledge, skills, and commitment needed to meet the ongoing challenges of cyber crime, cyber privacy, and information security. Founded in 2015, SecureTheVillage was recognized for its cybersecurity leadership by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti in 2018.

Sightline Security: Based in Boston, MA, Sightline Security, a distinguished 501(c)3 nonprofit, envisions a world where nonprofits are fortified with the tools and knowledge to confidently champion cybersecurity. Dedicated to reshaping the narrative, Sightline's KickStart program, based on the NIST Cybersecurity Framework, promotes a culture where cybersecurity best practices are integrated into daily operations.

The Cyber Readiness Institute (CRI) provides free, easy-to-use tools and resources to help small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) around the world become more secure and resilient. Their mission is to advance the cyber readiness of SMBs to improve the security of global supply chains. CRI emphasizes human behavior and employee education and awareness to create a culture of cyber readiness throughout an organization.

The Center for Internet Security (CIS®) is a community-driven nonprofit making the connected world a safer place by harnessing the power of the global IT community to safeguard public and private organizations against cyber threats.

About the Center for Internet Security Alan Paller Laureate Program

From the Center for Internet Security
: The Center for Internet Security launched the Alan Paller Laureate Program in memory of Alan Paller, an innovative leader and trailblazer in the field of cybersecurity. The program will empower U.S.-based nonprofit organizations, academic institutions, and individuals who are focused on improving cybersecurity by making cybersecurity controls demonstrably more effective, simpler, and more automated; developing and equipping highly skilled cyber experts; and improving the teaching of cyber defense at every level.


Source: SecureTheVillage

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