The Wisconsin Small Business Cybersecurity Initiative (WISBCS) was launched in February of 2019. WISBCS represents a collaborative effort by 5NINES, LLC and its partners to highlight today’s active digital threats, and the resources and defensive methods to protect the Wisconsin Small Business Community. The Initiative has since launched with six “Lunch and Learn” style events that are free to those that wish to attend – featuring topical lectures on how to assess the various threats in today’s interconnected environments and shape the conversation in how to see them met.
Designed to provide actionable suggestions to audience members – the WISBCS features partners within the Tech Community as well as those from organizations designed to bring resources to Wisconsin Small Businesses. Working together towards the combined goal of improving the landscape for Wisconsin’s Small Businesses, the members of the WISBCS provide a place for those companies to voice their concerns. This feedback allows Tech Industry providers to craft content that can directly support Small Businesses and provide them with practical, and beneficial resources.
Those who are interested in becoming members are encouraged to take the first step and join the mission and register for an upcoming event. From there, active conversations and feedback can help the Initiative grow to meet Small Business needs and answer their concerns in an organic, proactive way.
Our current partnerships are already onboard and these include vendors and other partnership organizations such as the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership (WMEP) and Wisconsin Procurement Institute (WPI). We began working with WMEP and WPI last year in assisting manufacturing businesses within the Department of Defense contracting supply chain with NIST 800-171 compliance and NIST Cybersecurity Framework adoption. However, we saw a need in the private commercial sector that was not being filled. Inspired by the Cyber Defense Planning Workgroup’s format, and feedback from local small business leaders at various speaking events, we decided to spearhead a private group to attempt to bring people together and improve our overall threat awareness and defense posture.