SBA Announces $3m Cybersecurity Program

The United States Small Business Administration (SBA) has launched a program to help the country’s emerging small businesses to improve their cybersecurity infrastructure. 

SBA administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, who heads the SBA, announced the new Cybersecurity for Small Business Pilot Program on Friday. The SBA will award $3m in grants to help entrepreneurs defend against cyber-threats through the program. 

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, small businesses have adopted technology at high rates to survive, operate and grow their businesses,” said Guzman. 

She added: “As a result, cybersecurity has become increasingly important as now, more than ever before, small business owners face cyber-risks and challenges that could disrupt their operations and competitive advantages.”

As part of the pilot program, through the Office of Entrepreneurial Development, state governments can compete for funding that would provide emerging small firms in multiple industries with training, counseling, remediation and other tailored cybersecurity services.

Applications will be accepted from January 26 2022 through March 3 2022, and grantees will be awarded up to $1m to assist small businesses.

“The bottom line is we must do more to help small businesses combat cybersecurity threats, which continue to increase, evolve and inhibit,” said SBA associate administrator for the Office of Entrepreneurial Development Mark Madrid. 

“This pilot program will empower state governments to expand existing services, innovate, adapt to current environments, develop new resources and scale solutions to assist more small businesses.”

The grant recipients are required to explore, offer or expand services to specific “entrepreneurial audiences,” including veterans, minorities, women, disaster-affected businesses, urban entrepreneurs and rural entrepreneurs. 

Guzman said the number of small businesses in America is growing, and new ways were needed to secure them against cyber-threats.

“As we seek to build a stronger and more inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem, we must innovate and provide resources to meet the evolving needs of the growing number of small businesses,” she said.

“With this new funding opportunity, the SBA intends on leveraging the strengths across our state governments, territories, and tribal governments to provide services to help small businesses get cyber ready and, in the process, fortify our nation’s supply chains.”

What’s Hot on Infosecurity Magazine?