Inaugural Cyber Summit and 5-week CyberReadyMBE® training draws hundreds of minority business enterprises

September 22, 2022

Partnership between Industry Workforce Solutions and the NMSDC is underway with MBES on their way to cyber compliance suitable for government contracts

Experts in cybersecurity, along with corporate and government partners, gathered in September to present the 2022 National Cyber Summit to an audience of minority business owners and their staffs.

The virtual event kicked off CyberReadyMBE®, a five-week training program designed by Industry Workforce Solutions (IWS). Its goal is to help minority business enterprises develop the infrastructure they need to meet cybersecurity protocols demanded in larger, more regulated markets. The CyberReadyMBE® designation will enable them to join larger supply chains and compete for contracts.

The National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), together with corporate sponsors GE, Bank of America and Truist, have partnered with IWS to provide the training to the council’s 15,000+ certified minority business enterprises over the next year.

The summit, attended by about 150 MBEs, welcomed cyber experts from every corner of the cybersecurity discipline. From the largest corporations to the federal government, the speakers and panelists discussed current issues in cybercrime, how to insulate a business from cyberattacks, what entities require in order to work with suppliers, the process of shaping up a small business’s cyber readiness, and more.

Once the presentation was made available to the MBEs who committed to the program but couldn’t attend that morning, the number of registrants who attended Module 1 had exploded. To date, more than 550 MBEs intend to go through the training, ultimately preparing them to achieve a Cyber Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) Level I certification.

The modules cover 17 controls of cyber maturity and coach MBEs through developing a workforce equipped to handle cybersecurity issues. In the latter part of the training, IWS connects MBEs directly with government and corporate suppliers to facilitate future contracts. Finally, MBEs who opt for the personalized gap assessment, will receive individual consulting designed to close all cyber gaps.

Doreen Gonzalez-Gaboyan, president and CEO of IWS, said the diversity and level of expertise provided by the keynote speakers and the panelists exceeded her expectations.

“The certified MBEs had an opportunity to hear about cybersecurity from every angle, with more to come,” Gonzalez-Gaboyan said. “We’ve designed this program in such a way that every MBE that commits to this process will be on path to earn a CyberReadyMBE® designation which will enable them to join some of the largest and most regulated supply chains in the country.”

The NMSDC and IWS are planning a series of opportunities to take the CyberReadyMBE® course throughout the year. The next opportunity begins February 21, 2023.

Regional NMSDC affiliates and the NMSDC office can provide information about available dates.