Small Business Expert Advises Government Contractors: Get Your Cybersecurity in Order

We’ve all seen news stories of organizations paying the price when they learned – too late – that their cybersecurity wasn’t up to the challenges they never even knew they were facing.

In 1999, a 15-year-old caused a 21-day shutdown of NASA’s computers. North Korea hacked Sony Pictures in 2014, which compromised several employees’ personal data, as well as proprietary information on movies that represented millions in company investments. The credit-reporting agency Equifax experienced multiple data breaches in a 2017 hack that made more than 160 million people vulnerable to identity theft.

In 2004, the Joints Chiefs of Staff recognized cyber as a domain of warfare in the National Military Strategy and declared that the Department of Defense (DOD) needs the ability to defend against, and engage, enemy activity in that new domain.

Just last week, cybersecurity was specifically cited and discussed as an attribute of companies that are truly “government/defense industry ready” at a Central Florida Tech Grove event.

“Cybersecurity is becoming more and more a priority for all levels of government,” said Steve South, director of the University of Central Florida’s APEX Accelerator (formerly known as PTAC).

South’s organization consults small businesses in navigating their journeys in government contracting. This can be daunting and complicated for innovative firms that may have great solutions, but little experience dealing with a multitude of government rules and regulations.

According to South, if companies hope to present themselves as credible and competitive when soliciting government contracts, they need to understand and be progressing toward meeting any cybersecurity requirements a particular project might demand.

“Even counties and cities are saying they’re vulnerable if their vendors don’t have good, strong capability [in cybersecurity],” South said. “On the Department of Defense level, it becomes a national security issue if a small business doesn’t have good cybersecurity, and small businesses just have to find a way to keep up.”

Cybernet has over 10 years of experience providing effective support for DOD clients such as the Army, Navy and Marine Corps, among others. Learn how Cybernet can prepare your business for today’s evolving cybersecurity challenges to make you more competitive in your business ventures.