The Global Cyber Alliance (GCA) and Mastercard today releasedÂ a new Cybersecurity Toolkit specifically designed for small and medium businesses. This free online resource is available worldwide and offers actionable guidance and tools with clear directions to combat the increasing volume of cyber attacks.
Some estimates indicate that 58 percent of cyber attacks are targeted against small businesses. These attacks include phishing, malware and ransomware â all of which can have devastating financial consequences.
According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD):
- Small businesses account for 99 percent of businesses globally, including businesses in the US, EU, and the UK.
- Small businesses account for 70 percent of jobs, on average.
- Small businesses generate more than half of the value added by most economies.
Resourcing small businesses with tools to protect themselves from ever-evolving cyber risks not only strengthens their individual businesses but also supports the health of the entire commercial ecosystem, including governments and larger companies. Helping these small businesses be more secure by taking a few reasonable steps will significantly reduce the risk for both the small business and its partners, no matter their size or resources.
The GCA Cybersecurity Toolkit arms small business owners with basic security controls and guidance, including:
- Operational toolsÂ that help them take inventory of their cyber-related assets, create and maintain strong passwords, use multi-factor authentication, perform backups of critical data, prevent phishing and viruses, and more
- How-to materials,Â such as template policies and forms, training videos, and other foundational documents they can customize for their organizations
- Recognized best practicesÂ from leading organizations in the industry including the Center for Internet SecurityÂ Controls, the UKâs National Cyber Security CentreÂ Cyber Essentials, the Australian Cyber Security CentreâsÂ Essential Eight, and Mastercard
âWhat sets the Global Cyber Alliance Cybersecurity Toolkit apart is that it is anÂ actionÂ kit,â said Philip Reitinger, president and CEO of Global Cyber Alliance. âOur focus is on producing a dynamic clearinghouse of operational tools that help small and medium businesses address risk and improve their cybersecurity posture, leveraging the deep expertise of our network of global partners, such as Mastercard, and the experiences of actual GCA toolkit users.â
As a Development Sponsor, Mastercard has shaped the priorities and early success of the GCA Cybersecurity Toolkit, helping to make it accessible to millions around the globe.
âSafety and security are core to our brand,â says Ron Green, chief security officer, Mastercard. âEvery day, we are committed to developing new and better ways to keep payments safe â especially for small businesses, the lifeblood of any economy. By partnering with the Global Cyber Alliance, weâre helping entrepreneurs and business owners to better protect themselves. In that way, they can stay focused on what they do best: running and growing their business.â
The Global Cyber Alliance has partnered with several additional organizations to create the GCA Cybersecurity Toolkit, including the Center for Internet Security, the Cyber Readiness Institute, the City of London and the City of New York. The toolkit will also be regularly updated with input from users, industry experts, and public and private partners across the globe.
âI applaud the deployment of a cyber toolkit for small and medium businesses.Â This support is of critical importance to help smaller organizations effectively deal with increasingly complex and more frequent cyber threats,â said John Gilligan, president and CEO of the Center for Internet Security.
City of London Police Commissioner Ian Dyson said, âAs the national lead force for fraud and a founding member of the Global Cyber Alliance, we are always pleased to see new initiatives that will assist businesses in improving their cybersecurity. Businesses lost Â£6.7 million as a result of social media and email accounts being compromised between April and September 2018. Itâs therefore essential that we, as a force, continue to work closely with businesses as well as the organisations that serve to protect them.â
âWhen we launched the Global Cyber Alliance we set out to empower organizations of all sizes with the tools they need to prevent cybercrime. The Global Cyber Allianceâs free Cybersecurity Toolkit provides small- and medium-sized businesses with immediate, concrete steps to protect their companies and customers against crippling cyber attacks, and I thank each of the public and private partners who contributed their world-class expertise,â said Cyrus Vance, Jr., Manhattan District Attorney.
âNYCEDC is proud to partner with the Global Cyber Alliance on the Cybersecurity Toolkit to better educate small businesses about the risks of cyber attacks. Small businesses play a critical role in New York Cityâs economy and represent an underserved customer base for cyber education and technologies,â said Nicholas Lalla, project lead for Cyber NYC, at the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC).
Cyber NYC is a $100 million public-private investment to build a vibrant and inclusive cybersecurity ecosystem.Â On November 1, 2018, the NYCEDC launched their Cybersecurity MoonshotÂ Challenge, asking the industry to develop and deliver affordable and scalable cybersecurity solutions for small businesses.Â As part of their partnership with the Global Cyber Alliance, finalists will be considered for inclusion in the GCA Cybersecurity Toolkit.Â New York City will promote the free toolkit to New York City businesses through NYC Secure.
Managing Director of the Cyber Readiness Institute Kiersten Todt said, âThe Cyber Readiness Institute is so pleased to support and collaborate with the Global Cyber Alliance on helping small businesses reduce their cyber risk.Â Our approaches are complementary, and our partnership highlights the importance of integrating the multiple cybersecurity efforts that exist to ensure efficiency and effectiveness for small businesses.Â I look forward to what our organizations will achieve together.â
The Global Cyber Alliance will expand the Cybersecurity Toolkit to help other sectors address the changing cyber threat landscape. Additional launches are planned this year with support from the District Attorney of New York, Craig Newmark Philanthropies, Corporation of London, Center for Internet Security and others.
To access the GCA Cybersecurity Toolkit, visitÂ https://gcatoolkit.org/smallbusiness.