December 14, 2017


Experts Discuss Cyber Challenges for Businesses and Opportunities for Public-Private Collaboration


— The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with Florida International University, the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, and the Florida Small Business Development Center Network, today hosted a

cybersecurity conference

aimed at helping small and midsize businesses develop, evaluate, and strengthen their cybersecurity programs. The

MetLife & U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index

recently found that almost 60 percent of all small business owners surveyed are concerned about cybersecurity threats, but many do not have a contingency plan on how to deal with a breach.

“When businesses have secure digital networks they can innovate, grow, and thrive. Awareness, education, and public-private partnerships can help business owners of all sizes plan for the worst, but fare the best in a crisis,” said Ann Beauchesne, senior vice president for National Security and Emergency Preparedness at the U.S. Chamber. “Today we brought together experts from around the country and the state, and we will take what we learned here in Florida back to Washington, D.C. to ensure businesses have the resources and policy frameworks they need to succeed.”

The event, held at the Florida International University, brought together top experts from government, law enforcement, and the private sector to discuss cybersecurity threats to the business community, challenges for small and midsize businesses, and public-private collaboration on cyber incident response, among other topics.

Florida has taken great strides to be a leader in cybersecurity education and commerce. Gov. Rick Scott recently requested reoccurring annual funds in the state budget to hold IT security training for the security managers across 35 state agencies. That ongoing commitment will help protect Floridians and their data.

“State governments, along with federal agencies, now recognize that they must engage, partner with, and support small businesses in order to protect them from cyberattacks,”said Alejandro Mayorkas, chair of the U.S. Chamber’s Cyber Leadership Council. “We encourage Florida’s private sector to continue learning and coordinating so they can avoid the pitfalls of the past.”

Today risk management is a part of everyday life. Public and private sectors confront criminals and lone actors targeting computer networks and critical infrastructure, stealing proprietary information from our businesses, and violating the privacy of internet users. There is no silver-bullet solution, but working together governments, businesses, and citizens can improve security and resilience.

The Florida Cybersecurity Conference is part of a series of cybersecurity events the U.S. Chamber will host this year. You can learn more about the eventhere and the Chamber’s cybersecurity awareness campaign here.