Small Business, Big Threat Cybersecurity Awareness Program for Small Businesses

July 27, 2018 - 5 minutes read

Report Period:  4/1/2018 to 6/30/2018

Program Update:

Have you played a learning game lately? Visit the newly launched assessments at SmallBusinessBigThreat.com to learn from the experience of our interactive personas and vanquish the cybersecurity villains we all face!

Let Marco, the neighborhood coffee shop owner guide you through the experience and share his hard-earned wisdom.

Listen to Sally, the owner of a small plumbing business, tell you what she’s faced and what she learned.

When you’ve completed the two courses, earned a Certificate of Completion and downloaded the Readiness Checklist, check out the Security Bytes weekly blog for to stay informed on current cybersecurity threats or register for our bi-weekly webinars.

Wondering what’s an easy VPN to install?  Download the list of cybersecurity tools to protect your business. Or, if like so many of us you find yourself overwhelmed with technical terms, access the cybersecurity glossary we put together to help demystify the world of cybersecurity.

The Michigan SBDC has been hard at work in 2018 Q2 updating the Small Business Big Threat program.  We’ve extended the reach of the program by offering a variety of online resources to help small businesses protect themselves against an ever present cyber threat.  The in person training events and online webinars, led by our cybersecurity expert Scott Taber, enjoy solid attendance.

In 2018 Q2 alone the program achieved the following results:

Website: Assessments: Cyber Tuesday Webinars:
Unique Users Accessing Information:  14,800 Started / Completed:Cyber 101:  214 / 55
DoD Contacting: 83 / 22
Online events: 5
Total attendees:  160

Looking ahead in 2018 the Michigan SBDC will continue updating the current program content, roll out new training topics and dates, and reach out to a wider audience than ever through an increasingly strong network of partners.

The Small Business Big Threat program is unique in that it targets non-technical business owners and personnel.  It has received wide support state-wide and is viewed as a leading SBDC cybersecurity program.  The Michigan SBDC is committed to raising awareness of cybersecurity threats to small business and to supporting small business success!

Program Overview:

Cybersecurity is an issue that potentially impacts every organization from large corporations and major government entities to small businesses. Over the last few years, the risk to small businesses has increased exponentially:

  • Small businesses are targeted due to the recognition that they may be more vulnerable
  • Small businesses often do not have the resources or expertise to guard against cyber attacks
  • Small businesses typically lack resources or expertise to deal with the aftermath of cyber attacks
  • Hackers use access to small businesses as a launching pad into a larger company’s data
  • Small businesses may not have the context to recognize the risk they face

The Small Business Big Threat program (SBBT) was developed by the Michigan SBDC and key partners with leading expertise in the field. It aims to raise small business awareness of cybersecurity issues that could negatively impact their business. The program targets non-technical small business owners and employees.

Cybersecurity is a continuously evolving threat. SBBT was developed and is continuously refined in partnership with security experts and includes proprietary information and educational techniques of the Michigan SBDC.

The Small Business Big Threat program includes:

  • Interactive game-like online assessments posing a series of questions about small business risk, and resulting in a Risk Assessment Report; Certificate of Completion and Readiness Checklist.
  • Four unique personas offering relatable perspective for every question and answer in the assessments.
  • Small Business Big Threat in person training events.
  • Bi-monthly “Cyber Tuesdays” online training.
  • Weekly “Security Bytes” blog updates.
  • Downloadable Cybersecurity Tools List and Glossary.
  • Downloadable white papers such as cybersecurity best practices; what to do in case of a breach; how to secure mobile devices, etc.
  • Cybersecurity awareness canvas allowing for deeper engagement during in-person meetings with a SBDC business consultant, or in a small group training setting.
  • Catalogue of additional resources for small businesses.

Michigan SBDC Contacts:

Zara Smith, Strategic Programs Manager Scott Taber, Cyber Security Awareness Program Specialist
smithlat@gvsu.edu / (616) 331-7106 tabers@gvsu.edu / (616) 331-7375