Louisiana Entrepreneurs Seek Support from LSU Cybersecurity Clinic
October 09, 2023
Protecting Small Businesses
Small businesses in Louisiana are lining up to receive free services from the LSU Cybersecurity Clinic, the first in the nation to be funded by the National Security Agency, or NSA.
“I work with at least a hundred small businesses a year, and while most understand that cybersecurity presents a threat to them, there are only two or three that have taken proactive steps to protect themselves,” said Adam McCloskey, director of the Louisiana Small Business Development Center at LSU, which connects clients with the free cyber services. “Most think they’re too small to be targets when that often makes them the best target.”
Cyber criminals often use small businesses as stepping stones to hack and attack larger organizations, making the safety of local entrepreneurs a national security challenge.
“Small business owners often lack the fundamental knowledge to even know what concerns or weaknesses they have, or what they can do, affordably, to be more secure,” said Aisha Ali-Gombe, director of the LSU Cybersecurity Clinic. “That’s something we’ll help them figure out, to make them less easy targets for attackers.”
One of the entrepreneurs looking to work with the LSU Cybersecurity Clinic is Konda Mason. She leads Jubilee Justice, a nonprofit working to bring climate-friendly rice farming and economic equity to Black farmers in Central Louisiana.
“Since we’re so data driven, I really want to plug into LSU and LSUA and the services that are there,” Mason said. “I personally have had cybersecurity things happen that have scared me, and we do so much of our business operation online, from payroll to how we do our books and track expenses. To be as organized as possible, this means being online. It also means access for people who want to do bad things.”
“It’s been a while since I was a student, but LSU is still there for me and my business. They sit down with me to map things out, make sure I understand where I’m going and what I’m looking at. It’s a blessing to have that, especially when you’re working your tail off.”
Amanda Floyd Bovino, owner of Royal Treatment Pet Manor & Grooming Spa, wants to work with the LSU Cybersecurity Clinic to launch her e-commerce