N.C. A&T Recognizes Cybersecurity Awareness Month, Offers Businesses Prevention Training

By Jamie Crockett / 10/20/2022 Research and Economic Development

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (Oct. 20, 2022) – For nearly two decades, the nation has acknowledged October as Cybersecurity Awareness Month, informing everyday Americans, government and business infrastructure of potential malicious activities and ways to combat and proactively avoid them. North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University’s final awareness event, The CyberBiz Workshop, will focus on empowering local businesses with helpful cyberattack prevention methods.

“Every business is at risk of a cyberattack and needs to prepare a defensive strategy to protect its assets. Cybercriminals have increased their attacks on our business infrastructure and, in fact, 70% of attacks are targeted at small- and medium-sized businesses, according to the National Cybersecurity Alliance,” said Hossein Sarrafzadeh, Ph.D., university endowed professor and director of the Center of Excellence in Cybersecurity Research, Education and Outreach (CREO).

The free workshop, hosted at the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering on Friday, Oct. 21, will invite entrepreneurs to participate in a general overview of cybersecurity threats to businesses. Saraffzadeh will present along with Center of Excellence in Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEEI)  director Joel Wiggins, IBM Distinguished Engineer Jose Ortiz, N.C. A&T Information Technology Services Vice Chancellor Tom Jackson, SSCI Inc. CEO LaTonja Fant, Foxhole Technology President Gus Tome, Privacy Engineering Vice President Lonnie Harris and doctoral student Jason Green.

Following the presentation, attendees will participate in either of the following breakout sessions:

Cybersecurity Health Checks for Business: Do you know your business’s cybersecurity posture? Our professionals will help you determine your company’s cyber health with a free health check.

Security Operation Center Coverage: Experts introduce options for security operations and incident response that are low-cost and accessible to small and midsized businesses. This session is useful for all companies with or without a security monitoring and incident response unit.

Continuing Cybersecurity Training for Employees: Human error accounts for 95% of cyberattacks experienced by businesses globally. Instructors will identify important areas, tools, and tips to keep your employees up to date on their cybersecurity training and provide workforce development tips for business.

Consumers may recall the Colonial Pipeline cyberattack last year, which created a ripple effect in across industries and “arguably led directly to congressional passage of the most substantial cyber requirements for critical infrastructure firms in history – obligating them to alert the government within three days if they’re hacked and within one day if they pay a ransom to hackers,” according to The Washington Post. Colonial paid the hackers a $4.4 million ransom.

“The average cost of a breach for small to mid-sized businesses is $383,000 and this is only the financial cost. An overwhelming 50% of affected businesses become unprofitable within a month of being hacked. With or without protection, your business will most likely be targeted,” said Sarrafzadeh.

“This CyberBiz event is an investment and is designed to provide businesses with the foundations of business security and compliance and state-of-the-art prevention methods from cyber-attacks, and malicious activity, and offers a variety of response capabilities for your business. We want to help change your business’s cybersecurity culture from reactive to proactive.”

CREO and CEEI present The CyberBiz workshop, sponsored by SSCI Inc., Global Cybersecurity Risk Management Firm.

In addition to this workshop, the university presented several in-person and online engagement opportunities. Earlier this month, the university’s Information Technology Services, CREO and the Waste Management Institute hosted an “Aggie Shred and Electronic Recycling Day” for campus and local community members to safely and securely dispose those items that may have sensitive information.

Media Contact Information: jicrockett@ncat.edu

Headlines, College News, All News