RIMTA Launches Professional Development Series with Cyber Security Seminar

When it comes to reports about businesses being cyber attacked, stories about big companies such as Equifax that house the data of a large number of consumers grab the headlines. But just because you don’t see headlines about small businesses being cyber attacked doesn’t mean these companies are not being targeted.

According to a recent article in Inc. magazine, about half of all cyber attacks target small businesses—and the trend is not slowing down anytime soon. Hackers look at these businesses as having more digital assets than an individual consumer, yet less security than a larger enterprise. Customer credit-card information is not the only data to be concerned about; financial information, employee records, and even business correspondence are important items to protect.

“If you run a small business, it’s not a question of if you’ll get hacked, but it’s a question of when,” says Jay Frechette of Starkweather & Shepley Insurance Brokerage.

To help marine companies better understand the issue, RIMTA has teamed up with Starkweather & Shepley to host a seminar on “Cyber Security in the Marine Industry: Privacy, Risks & Protection.” The event takes place on the morning of October 18 at Newport Yacht Club and is the first in RIMTA’s new series of professional development seminars called “Breakfast with Champions”.  Breakfast With Champions_logo

Frechette, who specializes in working with marine companies, will moderate a panel of experts to explore cyber security and small businesses—including an overview on the issue, the types of risks small companies have, and how business owners are protecting themselves.  A question-and-answer period is also included.

Panelists will include:

— Normand Duquette, Vice President, RISCO Insurance Brokerage, Inc.

— Jeffrey Mace, Detective Corporal/Major Crimes Unit, East Providence Police Department

— Mike Steinmetz, R.I. State Cybersecurity Officer & Principal Advisor Homeland Security

Read participant bios here.

To help RIMTA better understand the Rhode Island marine industry’s attitudes and actions concerning cyber security, please take five minutes to complete our short survey here. This survey will help panelists focus their discussion on October 18, and also reveal to RIMTA if more programs on the topic are needed.

The threat of a cyber attack may be something most small-business owners feel ill-equipped to deal with. But as Frechette points out, managing that risk is like other threats businesses deal with. Just like the prospect of a fire, companies have prevention measures such as a sprinkler system in place; they have an evacuation plan in case of a fire; and they transfer the risk to an insurer.

“The threat of a cyber-attack is a big and looming menace,” says Frechette, “but we want people to come away from this seminar with open eyes—both about the risks, and the way organizations are learning to manage them.”

The seminar takes place on October 18, from 8:00 to 10:00 am at Newport Yacht Club. Register and purchase tickets here. Take RIMTA’s cyber security survey here.