Forge Institute secures grant to help Arkansas firms combat cyber threats


The Forge Institute has been selected by the US Small Business Administration as one of the three awardees of the Cybersecurity for Small Business Pilot Program.

According to Forge, the funding allows the Arkansas Cyber Defense Center to further build capacity and expand critical cybersecurity services to address the escalating cyber attacks targeting small businesses.

Through support from the SBA, the Forge Institute will be able to strengthen the services offered to Arkansas’ small business community from the Arkansas Cyber Defense Center.

The ACDC will also be able to provide cybersecurity services, including an awareness campaign, training for small businesses on how to develop and use a cybersecurity incident response playbook, how to interact with law enforcement, as well as provide an overview of legal agreements and privacy statements.

In addition, ACDC will also conduct 260 assessments for at least 130 small businesses during the course of the first year. Joint awareness campaigns and training will be conducted by ForgeInstitute in collaboration with the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center (ASBTDC) and academic members of the Consortium for Cyber Innovation (CCI).

Forge mentioned that the program will greatly benefit Arkansas small businesses, many of which are vendors to critical infrastructure and therefore targets of organized crime and nation-state adversaries. Forge Institute is a partner with the US Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and regularly leverages cyber threat information to protect its partners.

According to the SBA’s Cybersecurity for Small Business Pilot Program, the SBA’s goal is to help emerging small businesses develop their cybersecurity infrastructure – which is a priority of the Biden-Harris Administration as outlined in the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Governor of the State of Arkansas Asa Hutchinson said, “Many small businesses are ill-equipped to defend against or thwart cyber-attacks because they do not have access to resources, tools or knowledge. Empowering and preparing small businesses to combat cybersecurity threats during their formative and most vulnerable years is fundamental to mounting an adequate defense to this growing threat. The Forge Institute ACDC will provide small businesses with the necessary resources to create and maintain frontline defenses against attacks.”

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