State Partners with National Cyber Security Alliance to Teach Washington Businesses How To Secure Sensitive Information and Avoid Data Breaches

“Understanding Cyber Security: 5 Steps to Protect Your Data” topic of the day for businesses attending first cyber security event hosted by The Department of Financial Institutions

OLYMPIA - The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) partnered with the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) to present a Cyber Security Workshop for Small and Medium Businesses March 23 to help licensees better understand how to identify, protect from, detect, respond to and recover from cyber security attacks.

“DFI expects all of our financial service providers to have strong cybersecurity measures in place,” Charlie Clark, Deputy Director of DFI and Director of Consumer Services said. “Cybercrime poses a serious threat to our small business licensees, and they are working hard to protect their digital assets. This workshop, however, is designed to help ensure that even our smallest licensees are taking advantage of important cybersecurity tools.”

This event was a pilot partnership with NCSA in an effort to bring cyber security education and information to state licensees and clients and help make all Washington businesses more safe and sound when it comes to maintaining client and consumer information.

“Most business owners know they need better security to protect their business and their customer data,” DFI Chief Information Officer Dave Kirk said. “But where do they start? This material gives small and medium sized business owners a good path forward. They can start today.”

Post-event surveys of attendees indicate the information was relevant and helpful to them as business owners:

  • 78% of those who completed a survey strongly agreed the presentation was helpful and would recommend the workshop to other small business professionals.
  • 75% of those who completed a survey strongly agreed they plan to use the information gained from the presentation.
  • Individual comments included:
    • It is important to know where exposures lie, so they can be addressed.
    • Wide range of security concerns are included and resourced.
    • Learning about two factor authentication, identification of key resources, identify threats, make a plan, and how to recover.
    • Hearing the experiences and policies of other people in the industry – good way to compare/contrast how things are done elsewhere.

“We want to thank the Washington Department of Financial Institutions for inviting the National Cyber Security Alliance to come work with businesses to improve their cybersecurity posture,” said Michael Kaiser, executive director of the National Cyber Security Alliance. “Small and medium size businesses are critical to our economic security and helping them become more cyber secure is a responsibility we all share.”

Media Contact

Lyn Peters, Director of Communications

PH (360) 902-8731 or

DFI Main Phone Number

1.877.RING DFI (746-4334)