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  The NIST Manufacturing Extension Program for Kentucky

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Cybersecurity: Returns on Investment

There is a significant financial benefit to implementing even the most basic cyber security measures in small and medium businesses.  Studies show that compliance with standards such as NIST 800-171 can reduce a company's risk of loss due to cyber attack by 93%.  At a time where 60% of all small businesses who suffer a cyber attack go out of business within 6 months, and the average cost of an attack is $148,000, it is vitally important for business owners to learn where they can most effectively place limited budgets to maximum effect.

“Cyber Security GraphThe cyber threat has been identified ad nauseam:  Nigerian princes, Russian information warriors, Chinese industrial spies, American hackers and scammers of all sorts.  However, the risk (that is ‘how likely and how severe will an attack be on my small business be?’) is a little trickier to define.  Luckily there are some good statistics out there that, when looked at from the perspective of risk management, can be quite enlightening.  For example, Symantec (a leading cyber security company) pointed out in 2015 that 43% of all cyber attacks targeted small businesses – way up from the 18% of 2011!  This shows the shifting burden of cyber defense from large corporations and government enterprises to the small and medium business owner.  Reasons for this increased risk to small business include larger companies’ ability to budget for more robust cyber defense measures.

Overall, the liklihood that a small business owner will have to endure a successful (and expensive) cyber attack is estimated by Rapid7 (another leading cyber security company) is an alarming 76 in 100 chance!  A 2018 World Economic Forum report backs this up, stating that the threat of cyber attack rates only behind weather events and natural disasters as threats to business disruption.  Such a high liklihood, when coupled with the over four times higher per capita loss when compared to large corporations, makes the potential financial damage from cyber attacks a major threat to small business survival.

“Weather GraphicTake heart, because relatively simple and inexpensive risk mitigation measures are readily available to small and medium businesses.  According to Online Trust Alliance, simply implementing good cyber hygene practices (mainly procedures and policies) can reduce that 76 in 100 risk by as much as 93% - taking it down to a mere 5 in 100 risk!  Chief among these risk mitigation measures is the recent NIST 800-171 set of standards, which are available, affordable, and painless to implement. 

Advantage Kentucky Alliance has been working with our network of affiliates to offer NIST 800-171 compliance along with other critical CyberSecurity services.  To inquire about these services, or any of our broad array of services, contact Kurt Felten, our marketing specialist, and have him set up a time for you to meet with one of our experts.  Kurt can be reached at (270) 745-3370 or via email at You can also see our AKA website for more information.  Just go to
Click here to see descriptions of all of our current CyberSecurity Services.

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