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Small Business in Indiana is a Big Deal

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

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When it comes to hearing about a statistic or a fact related to something we (thought) we already knew about a particular subject, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, right?

After all, we live in a digital world, in which information comes to us in every conceivable form. And because of that, you might say we’ve become accustomed to having all kinds of details suddenly grab our attention at any given moment. That being the case, what in the world of “getting to a point” are we talking about? OK, fair enough.

Did you know that 99.4 percent of the businesses in Indiana are small businesses, who are responsible for providing employment for more than 1.2 million Hoosiers?

That’s important for a couple of reasons.

Today is the 8th annual National Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) Day – recognizing the work of nearly 1,000 SBDCs across the country (including here in Indiana), who are supporting entrepreneurs in the pursuit of small business ownership. This year’s theme is “Nurturing Dreams, Growing Futures”.

The Indiana Small Business Development Center, housed within the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC), helps small businesses start, grow, finance, innovate, and transition through no-cost, confidential business advising and training. Established in 1985, it has worked with more than 50,000 entrepreneurs and small businesses. The Indiana SBDC is comprised of a network of 10 regional offices located across the state.

Among its key programs is one focused on cybersecurity. For a small business owner, understanding the kinds of vulnerability that’s out there and mitigating cyber threats are, often, some of the biggest challenges on a day in and day out basis.

In partnership with the Global Cyber Alliance, the Cybersecurity Toolkit contains critical resources designed to protect a small business and everyone they serve, including their customers and employees.

The Toolkit features six cybersecurity tools that can be tailored to best fit the needs of a small business including:

Another important component of the Toolkit are the cybersecurity resources that are available, ranging from the Indiana SBDC, Data Assured Toolkit (in partnership with the Delaware SBDC) and the Indiana Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) to the Purdue University Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), an additional partnership between the Indiana PTAC and Purdue MEP, and Purdue cyberTAP.

Together with Indiana’s reputation as a top-tier state for cyber governance, small businesses, as well as local government and schools – all of whom have been impacted by cyber incidents and cyberattacks, are able to benefit from the wealth of free resources, effective tools and organizations dedicated to helping all Hoosiers continue to build on their awareness for all things cyber.

Adding to the celebration is the cyber guidance for small businesses available from the Cybersecurity Infrastructure and Security Agency (CISA) that examines everything from the role of the CEO and the security program manager to the IT Lead for achieving the highest security posture. Also available is the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) best practices for preventing cyberattacks and some helpful information that's available from the Federal Communications Commission.

It all adds up to creating an environment for a business to grow while, at the same time, not having to start from scratch when it comes to seeking advice as it relates to cybersecurity; something that’s changing even as we discuss it.