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VIDEO: Hickenlooper Chairs Senate Committee Hearing in Colorado Springs on Cybersecurity, Small Business

Aug 16, 2023

COLORADO SPRINGS – Yesterday, U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper chaired a field hearing of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship in Colorado Springs to explore how to support the cybersecurity needs of small businesses across the country.

“We are here today to focus on how to help these small businesses thrive in an ever evolving economy, especially one where cyber security becomes a larger and larger risk.

This is without question a bipartisan issue, there should be no politics involved in this – in any way. I think everyone agrees that we need to expand our cyber workforce. Right now, we are filling less than 70% of the jobs that need to be filled,” said Hickenlooper, member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, during the hearing.

Held at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs’ Cybersecurity Center, Hickenlooper was joined at the public hearing by witnesses Kevin Stine, Chief of the Applied Cybersecurity Division at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Gretchen Bliss, Director of Cybersecurity Programs at UCCS, Alfred Ortiz, CEO of CSD Cyber, and Dr. Shawn P. Murray, President-Elect of the Information Systems Security Association.

“Small businesses, often on the account of their size, lack the resources and expertise to prevent the cyber attacks before they happen and struggle to respond after the attack occurs. In so many cases, they can’t afford to have a department – or even dedicated engineer – to help them be prepared and help guide them once they have been attacked,” said Hickenlooper in the hearing.

Hickenlooper and the witnesses discussed the different cyber threats that small businesses can face in the digital economy.

“We need to provide support and, not just support, but genuine technical assistance to small businesses. At the same time we need to raise awareness of the information that is available for cyber defense, where they can turn. We have to, at least to some minimum level, establish cyber standards around creating safe guards,” said Hickenlooper in the hearing.

Hickenlooper also discussed how cyber insurance can help small businesses adapt and mitigate cyber threats.

“When small businesses turn to the insurance market for cyber insurance, it can be challenging to understand how the policies work, how insurance can help them recover after a cyber attack, and what the value proposition is – what they are paying for and if they are getting fair value for insurance. Our bipartisan Insure Cybersecurity Act with Senator Capito is going to help provide both clarity and guidance for small businesses looking to get insured,” said Hickenlooper in the hearing.

“As a regional leader in cybersecurity education, UCCS appreciates Senator Hickenlooper’s service on the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee and his advocacy for small businesses facing real-world cybersecurity challenges. We were honored to host this rare Senate hearing in the field at the UCCS Cybersecurity Center, reinforcing the breadth & depth of cybersecurity expertise & education in the Colorado Springs area,” said Gretchen Bliss, UCCS Director of Cybersecurity Programs.

“As cyber threats to business owners and space service providers continue to evolve at an exponential pace, business leaders must move cyber readiness to a top priority in their daily operations,” said Harry D. Raduege, Lt. Gen USAF (Ret.), National Cybersecurity Center President and CEO. “The NCC applauds the efforts of U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper, visionary founder of the NCC, for working to ensure that small businesses have the tools and resources they need to protect themselves, their products, and services from cyber threats throughout a constantly evolving ecosystem.”

“Small business is a vital component of our country’s economic leadership and technological innovation. It’s also an increasingly important contributor to the development of our national space systems industry, the new “high ground” for national and economic security. We can see, therefore, that small business needs protection from those who would steal its intellectual property, hold it for ransom, or compromise its role in the supply chain on which our critical infrastructures and manufacturing depend. As the source of innovative technology, small business is also a powerful contributor to the cybersecurity tools available to the public and private sectors alike. Small businesses may be small, but their cybersecurity equities are enormous,” said Sam Visner, Space ISAC Board Vice Chair and Aerospace Corporation Tech Fellow.

“Small businesses are innovative and perpetually demonstrate how instrumental they are in changing how we solve the biggest technological challenges, and we will need to encourage these same innovative solutions to explore and survive in space. I applaud Sen Hickenlooper’s team for endeavoring into cybersecurity services for small business.” said Erin M. Miller, Space ISAC Executive Director

For a full video of the hearing, click HERE.


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