Security Program Controls/Technologies, Content

Cyber Readiness Institute Offers Free Certification to SMB Cyber Leaders

The Cyber Readiness Institute (CRI) has unveiled a new professional credential program designed to teach small business cybersecurity leaders how to secure supply chains and lower the risk of cyber attacks.

The online Cyber Leader Certification Program, provided free of charge, offers practical cybersecurity skills and knowledge along with techniques to influence an organization's behavior. The program follows three people with different backgrounds as they become cyber leaders in three different types of companies.

To gain the certificate, participants first must lead an organization through the CRI Readiness Program, complete all the modules, including associated quizzes and assignments, and pass the final test with a perfect score.

At the completion of the course, those with badges will understand how to:

  • Reduce risk by improving cyber habits in four core areas within their company.
  • Design and lead effective short-term cyber readiness projects.
  • Ask potential IT service providers the right questions and understand their answers.
  • Explain the use and value of cybersecurity technology to non-technical people.

The Cyber Leader can be anyone within a small business, such as the owner, the HR manager, the person responsible for finances, or any employee who can effectively provide guidance and take ownership of cyber readiness according to the institute.

“Great cyber leaders can communicate effectively, encourage positive behavior, ensure policies are practical, build awareness, gain commitment, and help colleagues take action to establish good cyber readiness habits,” said Kiersten Todt, CRI managing director. “We know that technologies are not enough. An organization must build a foundation of cybersecurity that is grounded in a culture of cyber readiness.”

CRI helps small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) build a cyber ready culture by focusing on human behavior and employee training. Employees in a cyber ready organization must know how to prevent cyber attacks and how to respond if one does occur. The Institute is a non-profit organization that convenes business leaders from various sectors and geographic regions to share resources and knowledge that inform the development of free cybersecurity tools for SMBs.

The organization has previously launched an initiative to provide SMBs with tools and resources to address formative cybersecurity issues by embedding cybersecurity policies and processes into a company’s culture. Cybersecurity pros have long contended, supported by repeated studies, that companies can best repel cyber attacks by investing in educating, training and increasing the awareness of their employees.

D. Howard Kass

D. Howard Kass is a contributing editor to MSSP Alert. He brings a career in journalism and market research to the role. He has served as CRN News Editor, Dataquest Channel Analyst, and West Coast Senior Contributing Editor at Channelnomics. As the CEO of The Viewpoint Group, he led groundbreaking market research.