BALTIMORE, MD (August 24, 2022) – The Maryland Department of Commerce received a $930,155 grant from the US Small Business Administration (SBA) to launch a pilot program to help small businesses in Maryland with targeted cybersecurity training and knowledge. The Small Business Cybersecurity Resilience in Maryland (SCRIM) will provide assistance to up to 40 businesses to help them mitigate cyberattacks by training their employees as well as installing advanced hardware and software up to $10,000 per business.

“We are very pleased to be one of only three states to receive this grant from our SBA partners,” said Maryland Commerce Secretary Mike Gill. “With the rise of cyberattacks locally and globally, it’s more important than ever that we provide this type of specialized training to help small businesses in Maryland better secure their networks.”

The SCRIM program will give all employees of the selected companies basic cybersecurity training, including creating passwords, data backups, physical security, phishing scams and incident response, as well as a more intensive program designed for specific industries. Eligible businesses include those in the retail, restaurant, finance, healthcare and manufacturing sectors that have been in operation for less than three years with 50 or fewer employees.

Maryland Commerce worked closely with several local partners, including the Maryland Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and the Cybersecurity Association of Maryland (CAMI) to develop this program.

In January, the SBA announced the Small Business Cybersecurity Pilot Program, with plans to provide grants to state governments to help emerging small businesses across America build their cybersecurity infrastructure. In addition to Maryland, Arkansas and South Dakota received funding.

According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Report, the cost of cybercrime against the small business community reached $2.4 billion in 2021. An SBA survey reports that 88% of small business owners believe their business was vulnerable to a cyberattack. Yet many companies can’t afford professional IT solutions, have little time to spend on cybersecurity, or don’t know where to start.

“Cybersecurity is increasingly critical for small businesses and startups as they face growing challenges and cyber risks that could disrupt their operations. As we seek to build a stronger and more inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem, we must innovate and provide resources to meet the growing and evolving needs of our diverse small businesses. With this new funding opportunity, the SBA is leveraging the strengths of our state, territory, and tribal governments to provide services aimed at helping small businesses become cyber-ready and, in doing so, strengthen our nation’s supply chains,” said SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas. Guzman.

“Small businesses, like the more than 600,000 in the state of Maryland, are attractive targets because they have information sought by cybercriminals and typically lack the security infrastructure of large enterprises,” said Steve Umberger, SBA Baltimore district manager. “We look forward to leveraging our great relationship with the state Department of Commerce to step up our efforts to help small businesses protect themselves, their employees, and their customers.”


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