Small and medium-sized businesses are urged by Alejandro Mayorkas, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and a 2021 Wash100 Award, to strengthen defense against cyber attacks as ransomware threats continue to escalate and the "backbone" of U.S. economy serves as the target of cyber actors.
Speaking at a Chamber of Commerce-hosted virtual event, Mayorkas addressed approximately 1,500 business owners and said individuals looking to pose a threat to the U.S. recognize that small businesses serve as an economic pillar and that is why they are targeted as "extensively as they do,” DHS said Wednesday.
Mayorkas also revealed the focus of the next phase of DHS' Cybersecurity Sprints during the event. He said the department will prioritize the retention and recruitment of diverse cyber professionals to departmentwide posts, including leadership positions.
DHS aims to onboard 200 cyber personnel by July 1st, with half of the said number being conditional job offers from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), and the remaining 100 offers will be from other component agencies.
Mayorkas said the department will invest in recruiting and developing the current cyber workforce as well as in training "the talent of the future."