This post brought to you by University of Maryland Carey School of Law. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Growing Your Biz.
If you are a frequent visitor to Growing Your Biz, then you know that I’ve often written about the issue of cybersecurity and the need for smaller businesses, in particular, to make sure they are doing what they can to protect their data. Safeguarding your company’s intellectual property, financial information, and reputation should be a vital part of your business’ strategy.
Yet, as cyberattacks get more sophisticated, and the number of threats both inside and outside of your company increases, following through on that strategy has become a formidable challenge. Just how big is that challenge? Well, even the National Security Association, recently charged one of their contractors with stealing classified secrets. According to Michael Vesely, at the University of Maryland Center for Health and Homeland Security Senior Law, “When you start being compromised from the inside of your organization, especially an organization dedicated to intelligence building, trust, and secrecy, that undermines the entire credibility of the operation.”
Don’t be a Sitting Duck When it Comes to Cybersecurity
For many smaller companies, “data security” is something that the in-house “IT professional” will take of, or it is a matter that is quickly outsourced to an online security company. Often, these same small businesses are not fully aware of the threats to their sensitive data that currently exist, nor how to handle a security breach once it happens, or even what their liabilities would be in such a case.
One reason for this is that cybersecurity is considered to be a purely technical matter. Business owners and their management teams don’t full recognize that cybersecurity is the foundation for safeguarding their most sensitive assets, such as intellectual property, customer information, financial data, and employee records. The other issue is a matter of resources, like time, money, and manpower. Smaller companies have fewer resources to direct to a “technical issue” that they don’t really understand anyway.
It’s a big mistake.
Small businesses are just as much at risk for cyberattacks as larger companies, and should be prepared for a breach at all times. According to a recent report by Keeper Security and the Ponemon Institute, 50 percent of small businesses have been breached in the past 12 months. The truth is that small businesses make appealing targets for hackers, because these criminals know such companies are less careful about security. According to an infographic put out by Towergate Insurance, 82 percent of small business owners saying they’re not targets for attacks because they think they don’t have anything worth stealing.
Cybersecurity Training in Your Business: Now There are No Excuses!
When you own a business, you absolutely must have key cybersecurity elements in place, such as firewalls and data encryption, as well as a business-wide cybersecurity policy. You also need to make sure that your employees receive basic cybersecurity training.
Depending on the nature of your business, even this, however, may not be enough. You will have a lot to gain by ensuring that at least one person in your company receives advanced cybersecurity training. Either you can receive this training or send one or more of your employees somewhere to receive it. As a side note, I recently wrote that providing advanced training to your employees is a great way to keep them loyal and motivated.
While there are many kinds of cybersecurity training programs available, one new program that many small businesses owners and their management team may want to consider is the online Master of Science in Cybersecurity Law program from the University of Maryland Carey School of Law.
This professional degree program is being offered in two disciplines:
The first one called the Master of Science in Homeland Security and Crisis Management Law, is geared towards those who work in Homeland Security or those who are involved in the emergency response to natural or man-made disasters. The training is designed to help these professionals mobilize resources quickly and efficiently in a crisis situation.
The second discipline, the Master of Science in Cybersecurity Law, is something that small businesses across many industries should consider as part of their professional training package.
The online Master of Science in Cybersecurity Law, is a unique, advanced degree designed for those involved with, or who want to learn about, the legal and public policy aspects of cybersecurity on the job. Students do not need a prior background in law in order to be a part of the program. The curriculum covers identification of threats and actors, Internet governance and jurisdiction, privacy issues, and cybercrime and data breach as well as current and proposed cybersecurity legislation, policies and regulation. The program was created in response to the significant, and often high-profile increase in cybercrime throughout the U.S in recent years.
Why I Think You Should Consider this Program
There are a few reasons why the Master of Science in Law program from the University of Maryland Carey School of Law is a cut above many of the other training programs you’ll find:
- Because these programs are designed for working professionals, students are allowed to learn at their own pace and set their own schedules to manage class time around their current professional obligations.
- Maryland is “ground zero” for national cybersecurity. It’s the location of the National Security Administration (NSA) as well as the U.S. Cyber Command, and is a hub for numerous top-notch cybersecurity firms. In other words, cybersecurity is in the air. If you want to learn about the latest in cybersecurity, then your best option is to choose an institution located in this area.
- These programs will be taught by notable members of the Maryland Carey Law faculty and as well as numerous experts from government agencies.
- According to their website, there are also a number of partial scholarships available to help students defray the cost of tuition. So, it’s something to look into if cost is a concern.
Want more information? You can find out all the details of the Master of Science in Law program from the University of Maryland Carey School of Law on their website.
The bottom line to all of this is that when it comes to your business’ cybersecurity, this is not an area where you should be skimping or lax. So, do yourself and your business a favor, and get the protections and training you need. The cost of not making your data security a top priority can be very high indeed.