HOUSTON, Oct. 30, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Last week Tom Ridge, alliantgroup’s Chairman of Cybersecurity and Technology, presented at the National Systems Contractors Association’s Pivot to Profit conference at the Atlanta Airport Marriott. During the event’s keynote address, the first Secretary of Homeland Security and former Pennsylvania Governor highlighted the growing importance of cybersecurity for all businesses—from large corporations to small and mid-size companies.

Underlining a number of recent high profile events such as Russian hacking during 2016 elections to cybersecurity breaches at Under Armour and Equifax, Ridge discussed the ongoing rise in cyber threats facing public and private institutions and their potential long-term damage. From financial losses—either as a direct result of a cyberattack or in terms of hours of lost productivity—to damage to brand credibility and consumer confidence, a cybersecurity breach can have lasting consequences for a business. For small and mid-size companies that often lack the time or resources to make cybersecurity a priority, a major breach can have severe ramifications—even going so far as potentially putting a company out of business.

“Even the small companies should have at least designed, internally or with the help of others, a basic cybersecurity strategy that is enterprise wide,” said Ridge.

During his address, Ridge further noted how the advancement of the Internet of Things and digital technologies have not only made the world more connected, but increased the number of points of vulnerability within an organization. With increased connectivity and reliance on technology comes the potential for greater damage from cyberattacks, meaning all businesses (no matter their size) must have preventative cybersecurity measures and recovery protocols in place.

Relating back to a company’s preventative measures, Ridge emphasized that implementing successful cybersecurity measures is not just an IT-initiative, but rather an organization-wide endeavor. All employees, from the C-suite down, need to be educated in best practices and are responsible for maintaining proper “cyberhygiene”.

“I would like to thank everyone that took the time to attend Governor Ridge’s address,” said alliantgroup CEO Dhaval Jadav. “As the first Secretary of Homeland Security, Governor Ridge was responsible for protecting our nation from cyber threats and has remained passionate about these issues. As the head of our cybersecurity team, Ridge will continue to provide valuable insight on issues related to cybersecurity for U.S. businesses and public institutions.”

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