The Free Cyber Ready Hawaii Program Will Help Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises with DOD/Federal Contracts or Those Interested in Pursuing Government Opportunities
HONOLULU, HAWAII – In light of recent threats and attacks, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), along with an increasing number of federal agencies, are now requiring contractors to adequately secure and protect their information and data. In response to these new cybersecurity requirements, CyberHawaii has partnered with the Cyber Readiness Institute (CRI) to develop Cyber Ready Hawaii, a free program that will make it easier for Hawaii’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to meet new DoD contract requirements.
Funded by the State of Hawaii Department of Business Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) through a grant from the U.S. Department of Defense, Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation, the Cyber Ready Hawaii program is a combined virtual and mentoring training program. Certified Cyber Leaders will guide Hawaii businesses and/or nonprofits through basic cybersecurity hygiene requirements, including the basic safeguarding measures required for compliance with the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 52.204-21. CyberHawaii members will support the effort as industry mentors for the Cyber Leaders.
Cyber Ready Hawaii is currently in pilot tests with several organizations. We will start to scale the number of participants in August with the goal of having 250 companies complete the program by June 30, 2022.
“Protecting sensitive data and information is critical, and Hawaii businesses and non-profits both large and small are at risk for data breaches and cyberattacks. As we continue to see cyber threats increase across the nation, the timing of our partnership with CRI is critical for Hawaii,” said Jill Tokuda, co-director of CyberHawaii. “Many of Hawaii’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are extremely busy with their day-to-day operations. Unfortunately, they don’t have the time, resources, or internal expertise to focus on cybersecurity until they experience a breach. CyberHawaii believes that our local entities can be ready to both prevent and respond to cyber-attacks.”
CyberHawaii, a non-profit committed to enhancing cybersecurity for a more cyber secure and resilient Hawaii, and CRI, a global initiative focused on developing and sharing free cybersecurity tools to support SMEs, will establish two tiers of Cyber Leader Certification and certify SMEs as “Cyber Ready.” A “train-the-trainer” program will be utilized where candidates are trained and certified as entry-level cybersecurity professionals to then develop and guide cyber leaders in each SME and verify that the SME has successfully completed the cyber readiness program.
“CRI is excited to build on our collaboration with CyberHawaii. Cyber readiness focuses on prevention and being ready if an incident does occur. The role of Cyber Leaders is to create a culture of cyber readiness by focusing on human behavior,” said Craig Moss, program director of CRI. “Cyber Leaders will develop a deeper understanding of how people, processes, and technology work together in cybersecurity. It will be a valuable step in preparing companies to meet the DOD requirements.”
“This program will not only help Hawaii businesses and non-profits meet cybersecurity requirements to compete for federal contracts, it will also enhance the level of protection for their overall organization,” added Tokuda.
Those interested in participating in the program or for more information, please visit cyberhawaii.org/cyber-readiness.
CyberHawaii is a non-profit organization committed to developing and enhancing Hawaii’s cybersecurity capabilities. Its mission focuses on supporting cyber education and encouraging career pathways in cybersecurity and analytics, as well as cybersecurity outreach and increasing awareness throughout our community. For more information visit www.cyberhawaii.org.
ABOUT CYBER READINESS INSTITUTE
The Cyber Readiness Institute is a non-profit initiative that convenes business leaders from across sectors and geographic regions to share resources and knowledge that inform the development of free cybersecurity tools for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Explore the building blocks of good cybersecurity with our Starter Kit or create a cyber readiness culture in your organization with the self-guided, online Cyber Readiness Program. Our Remote Work Resources and Hybrid Workplace Guides offer timely tips for addressing the evolving cyber challenges of today. To find out more, visit www.BeCyberReady.com.