Small and midsize businesses in the Sioux Falls region and beyond have a great, no-cost opportunity to learn about effective cybersecurity practices.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security will host a free webinar on September 14. The presentation is designed help companies make use of federal guidelines to improve protection of computer networks.
The webinar will focus on the best practices and resources for using the NIST Cybersecurity Framework, NIST is short for the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The federal agency led the development of standards, guidelines and practices to help businesses and institutions improve their cyber-risk management and better protect the nation’s critical infrastructure.
Two cybersecurity experts from Sioux Falls-based SDN Communications will be among the speakers during the 90-minute webinar accessible to business people from coast to coast. The speakers from SDN will be Jake VanDewater, the company’s director of network operations, and Chris Aeilts, a sales engineer.
The 90-minute webinar is part of the DHS’s Critical Infrastructure Cyber Community (C3) Voluntary Program. The goal of the program is to improve the resiliency of nation’s critical infrastructure by supporting use of the NIST Cybersecurity Framework.
The Framework ties together suggestions from businesses, government agencies and academic institutions to create a flexible, scalable process for industries in fields such as financial services, electric utilities and telecommunications to follow in developing and maintaining effective cybersecurity strategies.
SDN is among the companies that have used the Framework to review and strengthen their protective practices. SDN initially worked its way through the framework during late 2015 and early 2016, but the guidelines are an ongoing resource for the company, VanDewater says.
“It really helped give us an idea of how mature our cybersecurity posture was, and it helped identify areas we could improve and put additional measures in to improve our cybersecurity,” VanDewater says.
SDN used an online analytical tool, CyberRx, a product the company carries, to help it work through the NIST guidelines and assess its business risks.
During the webinar, VanDewater and Aeilts will briefly review the company’s experience and address any questions that come up. They will be speaking as representatives of the nation’s communications industry.
Pete DiLorenzo, director of systems and security for Shepherd Kaplan LLC in Boston, will talk from the perspective of financial services. Other scheduled speakers include Reggie McKinney and Benjamin Scribner, who are with the DHS.
In addition to raising awareness of the Cybersecurity Framework and demonstrating its successful implementation, the webinar aims to increase awareness of the approach being taken to assist businesses with cybersecurity. Organizers also want to increase understanding of barriers preventing use of the Cybersecurity Framework.
The webinar is intended for representatives of organizations that want to increase their cybersecurity resilience and learn more about resources to help them.
Cyberattacks are a large, growing and evolving threat to businesses of all sizes, but small and midsize businesses might be especially vulnerable. Successful strikes can devastate a company’s finances or reputation. Attacks to critical infrastructure also can threaten the well-being of the United States.
Webinars like this, which are easily accessible, are a great way for business representatives to learn about solutions rather than just hear about problems. We encourage businesses in the Sioux Falls region to participate.
The webinar is scheduled to begin at 12 p.m. CDT on September 14.