Integrated Information Security Management System for Rural Small & Medium Sized Entities (rSME-IISMS)

Award Information
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Branch: N/A
Contract: N/A
Agency Tracking Number: 2010-00408
Amount: $89,600.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2010
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: 8.6
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
1400 N WASHINGTON AVE STE 103, Madison, SD, 57042
DUNS: 784314085
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Jeffrey Haase
 (605) 270-9854
Business Contact
 Jeffrey Haase
Title: VP
Phone: (605) 270-9854
Research Institution
Computers have become ubiquitous and store huge amounts of sensitive data. An article in InformationWeek highlighted the problem: "More electronic records were exposed in 2008 than in the previous four years combined and most of those breaches -- nine out of 10 -- could have been easily avoided with basic preventative controls consistently applied". Small and medium-sized entities (SMEs) have a wealth of private data that cyber thieves are targeting with increasingly regularity. Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in America and the risks of not protecting such information can be catastrophic to SMEs in rural communities. The Ponemon Institute calculates that in 2008, businesses paid an average of $202 per record compromised. That equates to $100,000 for an SME with 500 customers records. SMEs who cannot securely manage customer data from identity theft face either closure or acquisition by larger metropolitan-based organizations that have in-house IT security. SBS proposes to test the feasibility of creating an information security management system that could provide a basic level of information protection for rural SMEs. Deployment of such a system would protect rural citizens and the SMEs rural communities depend on for jobs and leadership within the community. The ability to securely manage customer data helps sustain rural SMEs and lessens the chance selling out to larger non-rural companies. The project would lead to 25 new jobs in rural Madison, SD and help sustain companies in rural areas of the U.S. This project represents a significant step forward for rural SMEs in America. The public's interests are well represented through the creation and preservation of jobs in rural parts of the U.S. As rural SMEs come under significant cyber attacks, and as the federal government is looking for ways to fortify the SME infrastructure they do not control, this project is timely to represent the public's interest in improving the security of non-public information and better securing the critical infrastructure citizens depend upon each day. Identify theft is a national crisis, and most experts believe it will get significantly worse before it gets marginally better. SBS is proposing high-quality research and development to understand the scientific issues associated with information security management systems in rural SMEs which could lead to less identity theft and domestic terrorism. These are important problems, and very few companies have the expertise to conduct this research and create solutions that could lead to this type of significant public benefit. America is at war, and many experts worry that the next big war will be a cyber war. Identity theft is spiraling out of control. Most of us know someone who has been an identity theft victim as the statistics are startling. The cost for the business to overcome a data breach is staggering, and the inconvenience and embarrassment that ensues for years after an identity theft is significant. The specific USDA strategic goal addressed by this proposal is Strategic Goal 3: Support Increased Economic Opportunities and Improved Quality of Life in Rural America.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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