Campus News

SBDC will hold daylong conference on cybersecurity for small businesses

Experts from the FBI, the state of Georgia, Fort Benning U.S. Army base and the private sector will attend a daylong cybersecurity conference April 6 presented by the UGA Small Business Development Center, a public service and outreach unit.

Cyberstrength 2017 is geared toward small-to medium-sized businesses, particularly those that are vendors for the government or large corporations that are increasingly susceptible to hackers.

“We’re encouraging people to anticipate (being hacked),” said SBDC State Director Allan Adams. “It’s a potential impediment to a lot of firms’ ability to grow if they can’t assure large companies they may supply that they won’t be a security risk.”

The conference in Columbus is the first time that the SBDC has devoted a full day of programming to cybersecurity. The federal government will require vendors that deal with controlled unclassified information to have cybersecurity plans in place starting in December. Major corporations are expected to begin requiring the plans as well.

The cost to attend the conference is $99. It will feature presentations by an FBI cybersecurity expert; Stanton Gatewood, the chief information security officer for the state of Georgia; and Brian Jackson, president and CEO of Abacus IT Solutions in ­Birmingham, Alabama. More information about the conference is at