U.S. Eyes Stronger Cyber Defenses For Small Businesses: Reuters

On October 24th, 2011, Jasmin Melvin reported for Reuters on how the FCC is attempting to help small businesses beef up defenses against cyber criminals.  Using a free online tool called Small Biz Cyber Planner, the FCC wants small business owners to create customized cybersecurity plans.  Consequently, small business owners are increasingly coming under cyberattack: "Forty percent of all targeted attacks today are directed at companies with less than 500 employees" according to Cheri McGuire, vice president of global government affairs and cybersecurity policy at Symantec Corp.  FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski described small businesses as a low-hanging fruit for cybercriminals.  Furthermore, a recent survey by Symantec found that nearly 50% of small business owners had no cybersecurity policy for their businesses.

The Obama administration has pushed to protect both consumers and businesses from data breaches, but lawmakers are at odds over comprehensive cybersecurity legislation.  There is currently a bill being drafted by Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid which would allow the DHS to set minimum standards for business monitoring of incoming attacks and further require companies to notify consumers when breaches put personal data at risk.  However, a task force of Republicans in the House of Representatives believe that Congress should not impose new cyber regulations on businesses (with the exceptions of critical infrastructure), but rather, should offer these companies incentives to boost cyber defenses.

Whatever the case, former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff believes that US small businesses need cybersecurity tools, and they need them quickly.  Mr.  Chertoff noted that "Not to consider cybersecurity is a little bit like leaving your money lying around on the table and thinking that that's not going to be a problem." 

The source article can be found here.

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Professor William Snyder

Professor William C. Snyderis a member of the faculty of the Institute for National Security and Counter-terrorism at Syracuse University after fifteen years with the United States Department of Justice.

Ryan D. White

Ryan D. WhiteRyan is currently a third year law student at Syracuse University College of Law, and is also pursuing a Master of Public Administration degree from Syracuse’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. Ryan spent time with Homeland Security Investigations while pursuing his undergraduate degree at Wesleyan University, and spent his first summer of law school as clerk for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of New York. He is a member of Syracuse Law Review, the Journal on Terrorism and Security Analysis, and participates in the Veteran’s Legal Clinic. Full biography

Shelby E. Mann

Ryan D. WhiteShelby is a second year law student at the Syracuse University College of Law. During her final year at the University of Missouri, she served as a full-time news producer for ABC 17 News. Shelby spent her first summer of law school at the Shelby County District Attorney General's Office in Memphis, Tenn., in the Public Corruption and Economic Crimes Unit. She is a member of Syracuse Law Review, the Journal on Terrorism and Security Analysis, and the senior editor for the Syrian Accountability Project. Full biography

Christopher w. FolkChristopher W. Folk

is a 2017 graduate of SU College of Law. A non-traditional student, Christopher returned to academia after spending nearly twenty years in the high tech industry. Christopher served in the Marine Corps, graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. In Applied Economics and Business Management, attended Northeastern University’s High-Tech MBA Program and received a M.S. In Computer Information Systems. Christopher previously worked in Software Engineering. Christopher is currently serving his second term as Town Justice for the Town of Waterloo. Christopher externed with a Cybersecurity firm in the Washington, D.C. area between his first and second year at SU College of Law. Full biography

Anna Maria Castillo

Anna Maria Castillois 2016 graduate of Syracuse College of Law. She also holds a Master of Arts in International Relations from Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. She has interned at a London-based think-tank that specializes in transnational terrorism and global security and at the legal department of a defense contractor. She served as an executive editor in the Syracuse Law Review. Full biography

Jennifer A. CamilloJennifer A. Camillo

is a 2015 graduate of Syracuse College of Law and is a prosecutor. She has served as a law clerk in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York and the Cayuga County District Attorney’s Office and as an extern in the Oneida County District Attorney’s Office. She was a member of the Syracuse National Trial Team and was awarded the Tiffany Cup by the New York Bar Association for her trial advocacy achievements.

Tara J. PistoreseTara J. Pistorese

holds Juris Doctor and Masters of Public Administration degrees from Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and its College of Law. She wrote for this blog when a student. She is now a member of the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Corps.

Benjamin Zaiser

is both a scholar and a Federal Agent of the Federal Criminal Police Office of Germany. (Opinions expressed here are his own and not any part of official duty.) Full biography