Wyoming SBDC Network and CyberWyoming Secure Prestigious SBA Cybersecurity Grant

The Wyoming Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network, in partnership with CyberWyoming and headquartered at the University of Wyoming, has been selected as one of only six recipients nationwide for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Cybersecurity for Small Business Pilot Program grant. This prestigious grant, totaling $1 million over two years, kicked off on August 31, and will empower small businesses across Wyoming to bolster their cybersecurity infrastructure and defend against emerging cyber threats.

The Wyoming SBDC Network is committed to leveraging this grant to provide cutting-edge services that directly address the pressing cybersecurity concerns of its clients and small-business owners throughout the state. A pivotal aspect of this initiative involves partnering with CyberWyoming, an industry-leading cybersecurity organization known for Wyoming’s Cybersecurity Competition for Small Businesses, now in its 7th year. The collaboration will integrate CyberWyoming’s “Made Safe in Wyoming” cybersecurity “train the trainer” program, imparting essential knowledge and skills to key personnel within the business resource network.

Laura Baker, Executive Director of CyberWyoming, expressed her enthusiasm for the partnership, stating, “We are thrilled to join forces with the Wyoming SBDC and other participating economic development agencies.  The economic resilience of small businesses in our state is affected by cyber attacks, thus helping them learn to be secure is paramount.”

Jill Kline, the State Director of the Wyoming SBDC Network, echoed Baker’s sentiment, adding, “Our initial phase to further train and educate additional staff and partners is exciting. We’ll be able to guide and assist more clients through important cyber risk management strategies. We look forward to gaining additional skills to support Wyoming’s entrepreneurs.”

A recent survey conducted by the U.S. SBA revealed that a staggering 88 percent of small-business owners believed their operations were vulnerable to cyberattacks. However, many of these businesses face significant barriers, such as budget constraints, time limitations, or a lack of knowledge about cybersecurity best practices.

In addition to the Wyoming SBDC Network, five other state entities have been selected to receive the SBA’s cybersecurity grants, including the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, Indiana Economic Development Corporation, Ohio State University, Old Dominion University, and the state of Hawaii Cybersecurity Assistance for Small Businesses.

Isabella Guzman, Administrator of the U.S. SBA, emphasized the importance of these grants, stating, “Cyber threats can be devastating to small businesses. The SBA’s second cohort of cybersecurity pilot grantees will help our small businesses avoid dangerous cyberattacks that can create costly disruptions to their businesses and our nation’s supply chains and digital infrastructure. The SBA’s Cybersecurity for Small Business Program leverages the full power of our state governments, territories, and institutions of higher learning to provide turnkey, timely solutions to small businesses. I am excited to see this expansion across Colorado, Indiana, Ohio, Virginia, Hawaii, and Wyoming.”

Caption: Meagan H of Black Cat LLC and Laura Baker of CyberWyoming with the first place poster for Wyoming’s 2023 Cybersecurity Competition for Small Businesses. Early registrants for the 2024 competition receive real cookies from the Golden Prairie Bakery in Laramie. Register at cyberwyoming.org/competition

About the SBDC: The Wyoming SBDC Network has a longstanding commitment to offering expert business guidance to assist Wyoming residents in thinking about, launching, growing, reinventing, or exiting their businesses. It operates as part of the University of Wyoming and receives funding through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, in addition to state funds from the Wyoming Business Council.

For more information about the Wyoming SBDC Network and its programs, please visit https://www.wyomingsbdc.org/news/uws-wyoming-sbdc-network-awarded-sba-cybersecurity-grant/

About CyberWyoming: Founded in 2017, CyberWyoming, a 501(c)6 nonprofit, promotes the cybersecurity welfare and prosperity of the Wyoming business community including hands-on, high-touch education of small business stakeholders and technical registered apprenticeship.

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