As the number and severity of cybersecurity threats against companies and their customers continue to grow, an Israeli cybersecurity firm with a headquarters in Boston is making its resources available for small businesses and nonprofits to defend themselves.

Cybereason, which focuses on “behavioral-based enterprise attack prevention” and established a headquarters in Boston in 2014, on Wednesday launched the SecureMA initiative to help smaller organizations protect themselves.

Cybereason CEO Lior Div made the announcement Wednesday at the Massachusetts Cyber Forum held in Cambridge.

“We are excited to expand SecureMA to build a robust coalition of organizations that will raise awareness of cyber threats and collaborate to develop solutions and share information,” Div said. “We must work together as a community in order to combat this growing problem and we are eager to provide that platform.”

Businesses and organizations that join SecureMA will have access to quarterly situational awareness briefings, intelligence sharing by Cybereason experts on ongoing threats, updates and training on Cybereason’s anti-ransomware software, a “best practice” guide, and a community of other IT professionals who can act as resources.

Former Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis, now a security consultant, will serve as the honorary chair of SecureMA.

Gov. Charlie Baker is creating a new government secretariat – the first one in nearly a decade –dedicated to information technology and security, the Executive Office of Technology Services and Security.

“Massachusetts is a national leader in innovation and cybersecurity thanks to our talented workforce, exceptional schools and quality companies,” Baker said in a statement. “We applaud Cybereason for their leadership and willingness to support an expanded group of smaller companies and groups under this program and we look forward to working with Commissioner Davis on this important topic.”

The SecureMA program is an extension of the SecureBoston program launched in April by Cybereason and the Anti-Defamation League with a focus on spreading awareness of ransomware, a type of malicious software that prevents a user from accessing their computer files until a sum of money is paid as ransom.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Justice reported there are more than 4,000 ransomware attacks each day against businesses and consumers. The FBI estimated that more than $1 billion was paid as ransom in 2016. Cybereason, though, believes the rate of attack may be double what has been reported and the dollar value of ransoms paid are likely in the range of $3 billion to $5 billion.

Organizations interested in joining the SecureMA coalition can register here.

Also at a cybersecurity forum Wednesday, Baker announced the creation of a Cybersecurity Growth and Development Center at the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, which will convene a Cybersecurity Strategy Council to advise the center. The center “will work with the private sector to provide business development support, help existing cybersecurity firms grow in Massachusetts, oversee programs to increase the cybersecurity talent pipeline in the state, and collaborate with businesses to help inform the commonwealth’s cybersecurity strategy,” the governor’s office said.

Israeli Cybersecurity Firm Launches SecureMA To Help Small Biz

by State House News Service time to read: 2 min