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Small business owners and business leaders can get up to speed on how to protect themselves, their customers and their assets from cyber threats with three upcoming classes.

The Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center’s “Cybersecurity Simplified: What Your Small Business Needs to Know” will be held July 25; followed by the Better Business Bureau’s “What The Hack” class on Aug. 1; and another “Cybersecurity Simplified” class at the National Cybersecurity Center on Aug. 7.

“These classes are part of a larger cybersecurity initiative involving the State of Colorado, SBDC network, Better Business Bureau and National Cybersecurity Center,” said Rodney Gullatte, Jr., SBDC cybersecurity consultant and founder of Firma IT Solutions, who will lead the classes.

“This business community is full of experts in different industries of business including tax/accounting, financial planning, dentistry, chiropractic medicine, legal services, family medical practice…” Gullatte added in an email. “These business are incredibly vulnerable to cyberattack and the owners of these businesses do not understand that cyber threat and how to protect themselves better from it. Because of this, businesses are choosing to ignore the threat or choose the absolute cheapest way to protect their business. Those actions put our entire community at risk of having our data compromised through these businesses. This is where the SBDC, BBB of Southern Colorado and the National Cybersecurity Center come in.”

The “Cybersecurity Simplified” class shows small business owners that they face even greater exposure to cyber attacks than corporate giants, and what they can do to mitigate the risk.  

“As more individuals and small businesses become increasingly dependent on our networked and interconnected infrastructure, cybercrime and cyber criminals have become much more sophisticated in their techniques for stealing identities and using them to extract funds and make fraudulent purchases,” according to the class notes on the SBDC website.

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The workshop runs 9 a.m.-noon Wednesday, July 25, and is part of Pikes Peak SBDC’s TechSource: Cyber CYA program.

The “What The Hack” class will be held 9:30-11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 1 at Pueblo Rawlings Library, and is the third in a four-part cybersecurity series hosted by Southern Colorado SBDC’s TechSource Program and BBB of Southern Colorado.

“Think your business is too small for a cyberattack? Cybersecurity isn’t just about adding layers of security technology,” the BBB’s website says. “Businesses of all sizes need to understand and manage their cybersecurity risks.”

The class is free to attend but registration is required.

“Cybersecurity Simplified” is a cyber foundations course offered by the NCC in partnerships with SBDC. It runs 5-8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 7 at The National Cybersecurity Center, 3650 N. Nevada Ave. Drinks and hors d’oeuvres will be provided during the session.