New tool to help small businesses plan for cyberattack

The online tool, developed by the U.S. government and security firms, will be available at the FCC's website next month

With hackers increasingly setting their sights on small businesses, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission said Monday it will provide an online tool to help those businesses develop a cybersecurity strategy.

The Small Biz Cyber Planner will ask a series of questions such as "Does your business use credit cards?" and "Does your business have a public website?" Based on the responses, it will generate a planning guide to help companies put in place basic policies to protect against cyberthreats.

"With larger companies increasing their protections, small businesses are now the low-hanging fruit for cybercriminals," FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said an event to launch the tool, according to his prepared remarks posted online.

The tool is being developed by the Department of Homeland Security, The National Cyber Security Alliance, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, The Chertoff Group, Symantec, Sophos, Visa, The Identity Theft Council, the FCC and payroll provider ADP. It will be available at the FCC website in November and will be free to use.

The FCC didn't say what kinds of policies the tool might recommend, but it referred to a Cybersecurity Tip Sheet for small businesses that it released earlier this year. It includes basic advice such as how to make sure Wi-Fi routers are secure, encrypt data on computers, install anti-virus software and train employees not to click on links in email from people they don't know.

Small businesses should be wary of cyberattacks, according to a survey by Symantec and NCSA that was also released Monday. The average cost of a cyberattack for a small business in 2009 and 2010 was more than $US188,000, according to the survey. It also found that about three-quarters of small and midsized businesses reported being affected by cyberattacks during that period.

Even so, only 52 percent of small businesses have a cybersecurity plan in place, the study found.

"This tool will be of particular value for businesses that lack the resources to hire a dedicated staff member to protect themselves from cyberthreats," Genachowski said. "Even a business with one computer or one credit card swiper can benefit from this important guidance."

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags governmentdata protectionU.S. Federal Communications Commission

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Nancy Gohring

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?