Arkansas Cyber Defense Center formed

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 452 views 

Forge Institute introduced Tuesday (April 11) the Arkansas Cyber Defense Center (ACDC) as a real-time operational call center that supports Arkansas small businesses and entrepreneurs to boost their cyber defense readiness through awareness, assessments, training and incident support.

A memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed between Forge Institute, the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center (ASBTDC), and the Arkansas Municipal League.

“Our mission to develop Arkansas as the cyber defense state has led us to establish programs that promote community involvement, private and public sector cooperation, and federal, state and local government collaboration,” said Lee Watson, Founder and CEO of Forge Institute.

The ribbon cutting and MOU signing establishes the ACDC as a powerful resource for small businesses looking to secure themselves and their clients from bad actors on the web. The ACDC is staffed by cyber analysts – the majority of which are U.S. military veterans – from Forge Institute and is administered by Scott Anderson, Executive Director for Forge Institute and former commander of a cyber squadron in the U.S. Air Force.

“Among small businesses that experience a cyber attack, about 60% never recover,” said Anderson. “That risk is too great to ignore for Arkansans. ACDC is focused on helping small businesses protect themselves and their customers.”

Among the services provided by ACDC is a Cyber Risk Assessment, a 10-minute assessment conducted online at Forge Institute’s website. The ACDC services are free thanks to an SBA grant.

“The Cyber Risk Assessment is an excellent start for any small business or organization to audit their own cyber security measures,” Anderson said. “Most people don’t realize that small businesses are a primary target for bad actors on the web. Rather than allowing that knowledge to keep you up at night, we recommend you take this Cyber Risk Assessment as your first step to a stronger defense.”