The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) released a new cyber essentials toolkit to help small businesses and Federal agencies understand and address cybersecurity risks.

The first of six, Essential Element: Yourself, The Leader, will focus on “leadership in forging a culture of cyber readiness in their organization with an emphasis on strategy and investment.”

“We thank all of our partners in government and the private sector who played an essential role in the development of CISA’s Cyber Essentials Toolkit,” CISA Director Christopher Krebs said in a press release. “We hope this toolkit, and the ones we are developing, fills gaps and provides executives the tools they need to raise the cybersecurity baseline of their teams and the organizations they lead.”

In addition to helping small businesses – that have traditionally not been a part of the national conversation on cybersecurity – become better equipped with basic steps and resources to improve cybersecurity practices, the six cyber essentials toolkits will also include a list of actionable items for interested parties to take to reduce cybersecurity risks, including:

  • “Drive cybersecurity strategy, investment, and culture;
  • Develop heightened level of security awareness and vigilance;
  • Protect critical assets and applications;
  • Ensure only those who belong on your digital workplace have access;
  • Make backups and avoid loss of info critical to operations; and
  • Limit damage and restore normal operations quickly.”
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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.