A small business is federally defined as a company with usually fewer than 500 employees, with exceptions to the rules. In the United States, small businesses make up about 99.9% of all businesses, accounting for almost half of all private sector jobs. Small businesses contribute significantly to the overall health and vibrancy of many communities, making them vital components of local economies and social fabric. They often reflect the unique identity and culture of a community. Small business owners are usually members of the community they serve, people who have a vested interest in the well-being of their neighborhood and are more likely to invest in community projects, sponsor local events, and support other small businesses. Supporting small businesses can lead to stronger and more resilient communities, so creating security for our small businesses should be a priority. As the world continues to integrate technology into all sectors of life—lifestyle, health, and especially work, to name a few—it has become increasingly vital to provide security for our digital assets.
In 2020, small businesses reported over 700,000 cyberattacks, costing a total of almost $3 billion. However, these costs could have been easily avoided if small businesses were more aware of any potential security gaps they may have. Cyber criminals have many tactics to steal funds from a small business, such as phishing, ransomware, social engineering, business email compromise, and supply chain attacks, to name a few. These attacks can have severe consequences for small businesses, including financial loss, reputational damage, and potential legal liabilities. Implementing strong cybersecurity measures and regularly training employees to recognize and respond to threats can help mitigate these risks. Aside from how cybersecurity relates to business, basic cybersecurity knowledge empowers any individual to be more proactive and resilient in the face of cyber threats, enabling them to navigate the digital world with confidence and reducing the likelihood of falling victim to various cyberattacks and online scams.
The Black community has historically been significantly lagging behind their counterparts in many aspects of the career space; however, with the coming Renaissance of social change, there should be no reason this should continue to be the case. Along with many progresses that have been made and are still being made, the need for education and awareness of how to protect the Black community on the digital front has drastically increased in the last few years and must be addressed. There are many ways that communities can spread awareness; one such approach could be to partner with local organizations or community leaders to host cybersecurity events targeted at small black businesses, engaging in outreach efforts to promote the importance of cybersecurity and its relevance to their operations. Another method could be to launch targeted awareness campaigns through social media, email newsletters, or local advertising to emphasize the importance of cybersecurity practices for small businesses. By combining these strategies and more, cybersecurity education can become more accessible and tailored to the needs of small black businesses, empowering them with the knowledge and tools to protect their digital assets, which can lead to stronger cybersecurity practices and a more resilient black business community.