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Providing Student News to Old Dominion University Since 1930

Mace & Crown

Providing Student News to Old Dominion University Since 1930

Mace & Crown

ODU Entrusted With $1M to Protect Small Businesses from Cyber Attack

Credit to Custom Online.

On Aug. 14, the United States Small Business Administration (USSBA) announced its selection of Old Dominion University to join a $6 million Cyber Security for Small Business Pilot Program. 


ODU will receive a $1 million grant along with the State of Hawaii Cybersecurity Assistance for Small Businesses, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, The Ohio State University, the University of Wyoming, and the Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade.


Mark Madrid, the SBA’s Associate Administrator for the Office of Entrepreneurial Development, said, “This breakthrough cybersecurity pilot program could not come at a more critical time, as small businesses must tool-up to combat costly, stressful, and harmful cyber threats.”


An SBA survey found that 88% of small business owners in the United States felt open to cyber attack, a fear corroborated by facts. The FBI’s 2021 Internet Crime Report indicated that cyber criminals inflicted $2.4 billion in damages to small American businesses. Many of these businesses cannot afford the costs incurred by cybersecurity firms, aren’t aware of the risks, or just don’t have the time. 


“Cyber threats can be devastating to small businesses,” said SBA Administrator and Leader Isabella Casillas Guzman, “The SBA’s Cybersecurity for Small Business Program leverages the full power of our state governments, territories, and institutions of higher learning to provide turnkey, timely solutions to small businesses, and I am excited to see this expansion across Colorado, Indiana, Ohio, Virginia, Hawaii and Wyoming.”


ODU, in its own press release, stated that the two-year award will fund the design and development of an integrated training and education program that ODU can use to help small businesses defend themselves from attack. A small business in Virginia Beach, Chitra, will reportedly assist ODU in the grant’s implementation. 


According to the SBA’s press release, however, its grant is awarded for one year, not two. 


ODU stated that they will “provide cybersecurity assessments [and] training to employees, assist small businesses in creating [defense] plans, and offer ongoing cybersecurity support and guidance.” The federal grant went into effect on Aug. 31, 2023. 

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About the Contributor
Justice Menzel, Editor In Chief
Justice is an English Major with a concentration in Journalism in his Sophomore year at ODU. Outside of Mace & Crown, he writes and publishes freelance pieces and has directed a feature-length documentary. Contact him at [email protected].

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