SBA Awards Cyber Assistance Grant to DBEDT

Posted on Feb 26, 2024 in News

For Immediate Release: February 26, 2024

HONOLULU—The State of Hawaii Department of Business Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) has been awarded a $936,000 grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration Cybersecurity for Small Business Pilot Program.

Through the grant funding, DBEDT will provide cybersecurity services to local small businesses at no cost. Services will include technical assessments of small businesses’ information technology (IT) networks, cyber training for employees, penetration testing, and Wi-Fi upgrades and recovery services as applicable.

The threats posed by malicious actors in the online world are real and increasing. Both large and small businesses are potential targets of these cyberattacks but small businesses typically do not possess the financial capacity to ensure their networks are secure. Unfortunately, cyber criminals know this and are increasingly targeting small businesses through ransomware attacks, phishing schemes, denial of service efforts, and other cyber-related activities. DBEDT is committed to assisting the local small business community by partnering with other resource partners and raising the cybersecurity awareness level for businesses and their employees.

DBEDT has established a collaborative effort called Cybersafe Hawaii that will provide valuable resources for all small businesses. Through the grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration, Cybersafe Hawaii will assist at least 70 local small businesses by offering free technical assessments of their IT networks, cybersecurity training for employees, Wi-Fi upgrades if required, penetration testing to ensure system security, and recovery services should a small business suffer a cyber-related event. More information is available at the Cybersafe Hawaii website:

DBEDT Director James Tokioka said, “The threats posed by cyber criminals to our small business community are real. Now is the time to take action to ensure your computer networks are secure and your employees are trained on good online hygiene practices. Through the Cybersafe Hawaii project, DBEDT and our partners will work on enhancing the cyber posture of our small business community.”

About the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT)
DBEDT is Hawaii’s resource center for economic and statistical data, business development opportunities, energy and conservation information, and foreign trade advantages. DBEDT’s mission is to achieve a Hawaii economy that embraces innovation and is globally competitive, dynamic and productive, providing opportunities for all Hawaii’s citizens. Through its attached agencies, the department fosters planned community development, creates affordable workforce housing units in high-quality living environments, and promotes innovation-sector job growth.

About the Business Development and Support Division (BDSD)
The Business Development and Support Division of DBEDT promotes industry development and economic diversification by supporting existing and emerging industries in Hawaii and by attracting new investment and businesses to the state. Learn more at:

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Media Contacts:
Laci Goshi
Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism
(808) 587-9006

John Greene
Defense Industry Specialist, Business Development and Support Division
Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism
(808) 587-2773

Dennis Ling
Business Development and Support Division Administrator
Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism