The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) includes a cybersecurity grant that benefits Montana’s for-profit businesses that are at least 5 to no more than 50 employees. The program provides funds directly to assist businesses with improved cybersecurity monitoring and security. Application deadline is end of December 2023.
WHAT ARE CYBERATTACKS?
Cyberattacks are malicious actions taken by individuals or groups to compromise, disrupt, or damage computer systems, networks, or electronic devices. These attacks can take many forms, such as stealing sensitive information, altering or deleting data, spreading viruses or malware, hijacking computer systems, or disrupting network services. Common cyberattacks include:
1. Phishing attacks:
These attacks involve tricking individuals into providing sensitive information such as login credentials, financial information, or personal data by posing as a trustworthy entity through email, text message, or phone call.
2. Ransomware attacks:
Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts files on a computer or network, making them inaccessible to the owner. The attacker then demands a ransom payment in exchange for the decryption key.
3. Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks:
DDoS attacks involve overwhelming a website or server with traffic from multiple sources, causing it to crash or become unavailable.
HOW CAN CYBERSECURITY GRANTS HELP MY MONTANA BUSINESS?
Small to medium sized Montana businesses face unique challenges when it comes to cybersecurity. They often have limited resources, both in terms of personnel and budget, which can make it difficult to implement comprehensive security measures. Additionally, these businesses may not have the same level of expertise or knowledge when it comes to cybersecurity as larger enterprises.
Cybersecurity threats are a growing concern for businesses of all sizes, and the ARPA grant program is designed to help small to medium sized Montana businesses improve their cybersecurity posture and protect themselves from cyberattacks. Cybersecurity grants can help businesses in several ways. Here are some potential benefits:
- Funding for cybersecurity tools and services: Cybersecurity grants can provide financial support for businesses to acquire and implement cybersecurity tools and services. This can include everything from firewalls and antivirus software to employee training and security assessments.
- Increased security posture: By implementing cybersecurity best practices and tools, businesses can increase their overall security posture. This can help protect them against cyberattacks and reduce the risk of data breaches, which can be costly and damaging to a company's reputation.
Overall, cybersecurity grants can be an important resource for businesses looking to improve their cybersecurity posture, comply with regulations, and stay competitive in today's digital landscape.
- Compliance with regulations: Many industries have specific cybersecurity regulations and standards that businesses must comply with. Cybersecurity grants can help businesses meet these requirements by providing funding for necessary tools and services.
- Improved competitiveness: Strong cybersecurity measures can give businesses a competitive advantage. Customers and partners are more likely to trust a company with a strong security posture, which can help attract and retain clients.
- Opportunities for innovation: Cybersecurity grants can also provide funding for research and development of new cybersecurity tools and services. This can help businesses stay ahead of emerging threats and develop innovative solutions to protect their assets.
WHAT TYPES OF MANAGED IT SERVICES WOULD BE ELIGIBLE FOR MONTANA'S ARPA CYBERSECURITY GRANT?
Fisher’s experts have pulled together the top cybersecurity offerings that would be eligible for Montana’s ARPA grant. In our experience, this is a great place to start for small to medium sized businesses that are looking to mitigate the risk and impact of cyberattacks.
Ensure you are running industry-best security for your network with a business grade firewall. Additional implementation benefits include faster internet and improved call quality on VOIP phones.
EMAIL / MFA
MFA implementation requiring multiple verification factors to gain access to email, online accounts, or a VPN. A common requirement for many General Liability Insurance providers.
Automated network threat detection that leverages intelligence sources, manages alerts, and provides response recommendations that we manage for you.
Properly destroy the data sitting on end-of-life IT assets that can lead to data breaches. Our in-house destruction team follows strict destruction policies including destruction records for compliancy.
HOW TO APPLY FOR THE ARPA CYBERSECURITY GRANT?
The Montana Department of Commerce is the primary point of contact for starting the application. Start the application here: www.covidreliefmt.org/submit. As you begin the process, Fisher’s is your local IT experts that can help guide you through the application process. Feel free to reach out to Fisher’s IT Team at any time.
The eligible business must implement and pay for the cybersecurity measures. Once they complete the measures, the eligible business may apply to the Department of Commerce for reimbursement.
Applications will be accepted on a first come – first serve basis until all funds have been obligated. Reimbursement requests for eligible expenses will be accepted through December 31, 2023.
Fisher’s Tech are your local IT experts!
Our security framework for protecting businesses against cyberthreats were purposely built for small/medium sized budgets and will ensure a minimum baseline is built to continuously respond to attacks. Fisher’s team of experts are here to support you. Contact us today!