San Diego Business Journal

Small business owners in Vista can take part in a free cybersecurity awareness program being offered in February by the nonprofit San Diego Cyber Center of Excellence through a partnership with the City of Vista’s Economic Development department.


The event is geared toward businesses with 100 or fewer employees in the city of Vista or with suppliers who work with a business in Vista to get tools to take forward action on thwarting cyberattacks and protecting data, employees, vendors and customers.


It is set for 11 a.m. to noon, Feb. 1. Registration for the event must be made to the city by Jan. 26 by visiting https://bit.ly/3HYun3d


The City of Vista is seeking to help its small businesses become more aware of systemic cyber threats and data breaches, and to strengthen regional economic resiliency.


The Cyber Center of Excellence is a nonprofit organization that focuses on regional planning and program implementation. It addresses cybersecurity in the workforce, economic development and infrastructure challenges and was created in part of promote cybersecurity in San Diego.


More people are working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic, and with that, cyber attacks are growing at an alarming rate.


The Vista economic development department says that the FBI reports that cybercrime has grown 300 percent during the pandemic. Most of the breaches in 2020 involved small businesses that were already economically impacted by the pandemic, according to a Verizon business 2020 data breach investigations report.


According to ThriveDX (formerly Cybint), a global cyber education company that keeps tabs on and digital security and cyber safety in the workplace, 95% of cybersecurity breaches are caused by human error.


The program, which includes a detailed, confidential cybersecurity risk assessment from MasterCard’s RiskRecon, will help merchants assess the possibility of account data compromise, compliance with certain industry standards and more.


The Vista-sponsored program also includes 90 days of cybersecurity awareness training from ESET, a global company that started out as a pioneer in the antivirus protection world for software. The training program for businesses includes interactive training sessions on password policies, email protection, social engineering, malware threats and phishing scams.


Also included will be tools to develop and exercise cyber incident response plans with a CyberCatch simulator. CyberCatch is a San Diego-based company that helps businesses stay in compliance with government mandates so they can continue to grow contracts while avoiding data theft or ransomware attacks.


There will be an opportunity to take part in a threat landscape briefing from the FBI and gaining connectivity to the region’s cybersecurity industry, including additional customizable resources.


For more information, contact the city of Vista at econdev@ci.vista.ca.us