Newport, R.I. ­­­­­­­­­­– The Pell Center at Salve Regina University’s Cyber Leadership Initiative is partnering with the Newport County Chamber of Commerce to promote cybersecurity and help small and medium-size enterprises prepare for the increasing growth, volume, and sophistication of cyber threats.

The partnership will continue collaborative events as part of the Pell Center’s Rhode Island Corporate Cybersecurity Initiative (RICCI) and will aim to educate Newport County’s business leaders about cyber preparedness and cyber risk management. RICCI, now it its fourth consecutive year, was designed to develop senior business leaders and decision makers who can affect change and make Rhode Island’s business community and critical industries safer, more resilient, and prepared to confront emerging threats.

“We are excited to partner with the Pell Center on this extremely important initiative. While all businesses need to take precautions to protect themselves from cyber threats, small businesses are particularly vulnerable. The Pell Center’s expertise on these matters are a tremendous asset to the local economy and offering their services and workshops to our members will prove to be a tremendous resource in helping businesses to prepare and protect themselves into the future as these threats and attacks continue to become more prominent,” stated Erin Donovan-Boyle, executive director of the Newport County Chamber of Commerce.

“Cyber risks affect all industries and all markets and can represent an existential threat – especially to smaller companies that have limited resources and have often built their entire business around one line of products or services,” said Francesca Spidalieri, Senior Fellow for Cyber Leadership at the Pell Center. “As small businesses continue to take advantage of technology innovations – from cloud services and industrial automation to social media and online advertisement – in order to promote efficiency, productivity, and economic growth, they must also be able to protect an expanding attack surface and mitigate a growing number of cyber threats.”

“The Pell Center is part of a remarkable community, and we welcome the opportunity to connect with the local businesses in our neighborhood on an issue as timely and important as cybersecurity,” said Jim Ludes, executive director of the Pell Center. “Erin Donovan-Boyle has made great strides in helping Newport County’s businesses succeed in their ventures and we’re excited to work with her.”

The Newport County Chamber of Commerce helps its members succeed through legislative advocacy, economic development, education, savings, networking and increased visibility.

For more on upcoming RICCI events, please check