The National Security Agency (NSA) awarded Metro State University $1.45 million to kick-start a cybersecurity clinic that will help Minnesota institutions respond to cyberattacks.
Small businesses, nonprofits, schools and government organizations in the state will be able to visit the clinic for free cybersecurity consulting and resources from students at Metro State starting in mid-2024.
Cyber-crime is growing exponentially, and the cost of these attacks is predicted to reach $8 trillion in 2023, according to a Cybersecurity Ventures report.
Minneapolis Public Schools was the victim of of a ransomware attack and refused to pay a $1 million ransom to recover sensitive files. The exposed data included personal information and even records on abuse and sexual assaults, all exposed online.
Simple security measures can help deter many common cyber crimes, from ransomware attacks to identity theft to phishing. Email hacking is also one of the most financially damaging cyberattacks a business can face, according to the FBI.
Small businesses are especially vulnerable to cyberattacks, according to Kyle Swanson, dean of Metro State’s College of Sciences, who predicted most small businesses will have some sort of weakness and vulnerability to data breaches or attacks.