BALTIMORE, MD (August 24, 2022) – The Maryland Department of Commerce has been awarded a $930,155 grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to launch a pilot program aimed at assisting small businesses in Maryland with targeted cybersecurity training and knowledge. The Small Business Cybersecurity Resilience in Maryland (SCRIM) program will provide assistance to up to 40 businesses to help them mitigate cyber-attacks through 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 partners at the SBA,” said Maryland Commerce Secretary Mike Gill. “With cyber attacks on the rise locally and globally, it is more important than ever that we offer this kind of specialized training to help small businesses in Maryland better secure their networks.”
The SCRIM program will give all employees of selected businesses basic cybersecurity training, including password creation, data backups, physical security, phishing scams, and incident response, as well as a more intensive curriculum designed for specific industries. Eligible businesses include those in the retail, restaurant, finance, healthcare, and manufacturing industries that have been in business for no more 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 Cybersecurity for Small Business Pilot Program, with plans to provide grants to state governments to help emerging small businesses across America develop their cybersecurity infrastructure. In addition to Maryland, Arkansas and South Dakota received funding.
According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Report, the cost of cybercrimes against the small business community reached $2.4 billion in 2021. An SBA survey reports that 88% of small business owners felt their business was vulnerable to a cyberattack. Yet many businesses can’t afford professional IT solutions, have limited time to devote to cybersecurity, or don’t know where to begin.
“Cybersecurity is increasingly critical for small businesses and startups as they face rising 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, evolving needs of our diverse small businesses. With this new funding opportunity, the SBA is leveraging the strengths across our state governments, territories, and tribal governments to provide services to help small businesses get cyber ready and, in the process, fortify 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 that cybercriminals want, and typically lack the security infrastructure of larger businesses,” said SBA Baltimore District Director Steve Umberger. “We’re looking forward to capitalizing on our great relationship with the state Department of Commerce to ramp up our efforts to help small businesses protect themselves, their employees, and their customers.”