June’s Workshop Wednesday features helpful tips to protect against cyber attacks

A group of 25 local business owners received tips and strategies for preventing cyber-attacks and security breaches on Wednesday during a monthly workshop hosted by HISD’s Business Assistance Supplier Diversity department.

Cybersecurity expert Peter Thomas gave a presentation on building cyber resilience and being proactive in a reactive cyber world. Thomas currently serves as chief technology officer of Blue Lance, a global provider of cybersecurity products and services that help companies assess and remediate the security of their information systems.

“The human factor is the biggest cyber risk and vulnerability for any organization,” said Thomas. “No machine can beat a well-trained employee.”

Attendees listened as Thomas gave practical advice on how local business owners can best safeguard their data, lessen the impact of a cyber-attack, minimize potential disruptions to ensure business continuity, and use lessons learned from an attack to prevent future breaches.

According to Thomas, practicing good cyber hygiene practices, such as changing passwords frequently, disabling unused user IDs immediately, and receiving annual risk assessments are all great ways business owners can tighten security so online hackers cannot access crucial data.

“Although millions of dollars are being spent on cyber security, hackers are still finding ways to break down websites,” said Thomas. “The question is not how, but when?”

HISD’s Business Assistance Supplier Diversity department hosts Workshop Wednesday on the first Wednesday of each month. Topics vary and are targeted to provide relevant information and assistance to minority- and women-owned businesses (M/WBEs) interested in working with the district.

For more information on upcoming workshops and networking opportunities, contact the Business Assistance Supplier Diversity office at 713-556-7273.