Hughes Legal Wins 2022 Cybersecurity Competition for Small Businesses

LARAMIE – Hughes Legal LLC was announced to be the winner of Wyoming’s 2022 Cybersecurity Competition for Small Businesses in the category of No Technical Help at UW’s Blockchain Stampede on September 23.

As a sole proprietor, owner Shelby Hughes assists businesses with brand protection and she utilizes a vast amount of technology and applications to be as efficient as possible, which was partially her reason for joining the competition.

“As an attorney, I have an ethical duty to safeguard client information, including data in digital form,” said Hughes. 

Hughes’ competition security goals were to focus on protecting client intellectual property through Hughes Legal’s services, internal processes, and cloud systems. However, she quickly realized that, as a one-person shop, succession planning for her business was critical.  She registered a colleague as a surrogate attorney with the Wyoming State Bar Association and created a digital inheritance plan that would pass to this colleague in case she became incapacitated.

“It was important for me to know my clients would be well taken care of if I were incapacitated or unable to attend to my practice for any reason,” said Hughes. 

An enlightening moment for Hughes was when she inventoried her cloud systems, evaluating the security features of each.  This led to switching to more secure products and, on others, increasing authentication security, like adding two factor authentication.  She also focused on separating work from personal systems, designating a computer and a wireless network just for work systems.

“Wyoming’s Cybersecurity Competition for Small Businesses educated me on how to effectively implement and optimize processes to properly uphold this responsibility in a way that makes sense for my remote, online business, and serves the best interests of my clients,” said Hughes.

Hughes met 100% of her security goals in the competition and 100% of the competition recommendations and was the first to complete the program out of the 18 companies participating.

The 2022 Competition was supported by a grant from Microsoft and the Department of Workforce Services and due to CyberWyoming’s 2022 members and sponsors: Capitol Communications Inc., Campbell County Health, Cheyenne State Bank, CPU (Computer Professionals Unlimited), DigeTekS LLC, EvnTec, Factory IT, First Federal Bank & Trust, First Interstate Bank, Gannett Peak Technical Services, HUB International, IECA, K2 Technologies, Manufacturing Works, PDS, Sweetwater Technology Services, and TEAM.  For more information about the 2023 Wyoming Cybersecurity Competition for Small Businesses visit https://cyberwyoming.org/competition.

The competition was developed by CyberWyoming in 2018 to encourage Wyoming small businesses to meet best practices in cybersecurity through a home grown program called Made Safe in Wyoming™.  The competition has gained national and international attention being the only of its kind and, in February of 2022, won a Gula Tech Foundation Award to expand in 2023. CyberWyoming recently announced this expansion and is looking for local economic development agencies who want to house a Cybersecurity Business Counselor. 

“We wanted to encourage traditional economic development agencies to incorporate security and information protection into their member offerings, so we used the Gula Tech Grant to incentivize them to train a staff member with our program,” said Laura Baker, Executive Director of CyberWyoming.

Baker said the goal of the program expansion is to raise business community awareness by installing local cybersecurity business counselors that can help with security planning and programs, then encourage connection with other companies and organizations locally to fill the holes.

Those economic development agencies interested in expanding their services with the Made Safe/Competition Program should contact Baker at info@cyberwyoming.org or 307.314.2188.

About Hughes Legal LLC:  Hughes Legal is a sole proprietorship that protects unique business branding through trademark registrations.  The owner is dedicated to understanding clients’ needs, helping them become successful, and providing advice about branding and brand protection.  Being a sole proprietor, the owner utilizes a vast amount technology and applications to be as efficient as possible, which is partially the reason for joining the Competition.  For instance, Hughes Legal utilizes a virtual receptionist integrated with a scheduling app, which also integrates with email and video conferencing cloud applications and the owner wanted to fully understand the security implications. For more information: https://hugheslegal307.com/.

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