In today’s world, it seems that cyberattacks are just a part of everyday life. Often we hear about various data breaches affecting financial institutions, social media accounts and even consumer products that connect to Wi-Fi. However cyberattacks aren’t something new, they have been happening for a long time. The very first cyberattack happened in 1988 by a Cornell University student named Robert Tappan Morris; Morris was curious to know how large the internet was so he created a program that moved from computer to computer sending back information on each. The program, known as a “worm” affected about ten percent of all the computers connected to the internet [i] and caused millions of dollars in damages. Although Morris’ intentions weren’t malicious, his actions did create a major problem that was expensive to fix.
Today Cybersecurity has become a central concern for public sector entities in the U.S. A Market Watch study published in February Stated: “With the increasing adoption of cloud platforms and other network solutions, organizations are becoming more exposed to external breaches.”[ii] Everything from mobile devices, social media networks, apps, IoT devices such as cars and home appliances, fitness trackers, and financial institutions that connect to the internet and uses digitized information is vulnerable to cyber-attacks and therefore is the driving factor for cybersecurity market growth. Within the past five years, financial losses caused by cyberattacks have increased by over 62%.[ii] In another report by Market Research Media, it is predicted that the federal cybersecurity market will reach $22 billion by 2022.[iii]
Here are some interesting statistics on cyber-attacks from the last few years:
- From 2015-2017 the U.S. had over 300 known large scale cyberattacks making it the country most affected by cyberattacks
- From 2016-2017 cybersecurity costs increased by 22.7%
- In 2017, 147.9 million Equifax consumers had personal information exposed after a cyberattack costing the company over $4 billion
- In 2016, three billion Yahoo accounts were hacked, revealing personal information of Yahoo users
- Also in 2016, Cyberattackers stole information from over 57 million Uber riders and drivers
- 31% of organizations have experienced a cyberattack on operational technology infrastructure
- U.S. ranks the highest with all ransomware attacks at 18.2%
- In 2017, Ransomware attacks cost over $5 billion, 15 times more than in 2015
- 60% of malicious domains are associated with spam campaigns
- Over 130 large scale targeted data breaches occur in the U.S. every year according to 2017 figures
- Companies spend an average of $2.4 million for cybersecurity due to malware and web-based attacks
- By 2021 damage related to cybercrime is expected to reach $6 trillion annually
(Source: R. Sobers. Varonis. 60 Must-Know Cybersecurity Statistics for 2019. 17 Apr. 2019)
An Increase in Cyberattacks will Create Opportunities for Vendors
As the federal government focuses more on cybersecurity, there will be more opportunities for vendors in the field to work with the public sector. Home to the National Security Agency (NSA), U.S. Cyber Command, Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and having an impressive IT talent pool of 115,000 IT professionals, Maryland is easily recognized as the nation’s headquarters for cybersecurity.
“The 60 federal agencies and 20 military installations within Maryland’s borders means serious business opportunities for cybersecurity and technology companies.”[iv] Maryland provides those interested in the field excellent opportunities for education and training, the Baltimore Cyber Range is the nation’s first stand-alone and hands-on training center for cybersecurity and Maryland is the number one state for federal R&D receiving $16.8 billion. Maryland also has been awarded $10.36 billion in federal contracts.[v]
Bidding on Opportunities in Maryland
Maryland is a great location to find bid opportunities in IT and cybersecurity. As mentioned, the state’s established cybersecurity industry attracts both professionals new to the field and vendors looking to build their businesses. As more and more attacks occur, the government agencies will need to find ways not only to fix the problems but to find ways to prevent them in the first place. This is where the private sector comes into play.
By combining resources with private firms, public agencies will be able to learn more about cyberattacks and how to prevent them, leading to more bid opportunities for vendors. Some opportunities to look out for will include consulting services, training, and software programs to help government agencies and departments protect their data and to learn more about cybersecurity, including how to implement better practices.
In order to bid on government contracts in Maryland, vendors must first register with the eMaryland Marketplace. The eMM is used by the state and many counties, and allows vendors to receive bid notices, search for open bids and awards, complete small business certification and submit bid proposals electronically. Vendors will receive notices based on the NAICS codes they enter during registration.[vi]
Vendors who identify as a small business can self-certify on the eMM and register with the Small Business Reserve. The Small Business Reserve Program was created in 2004 for small business to compete as prime contractors and will only compete with other small businesses. The program requires agencies and departments to spend at least 15 percent of their fiscal year procurement expenditures on qualified small businesses. It should be noted that certification must be renewed annually.[vii]
Minority & Women Owned Businesses (MWBEs)
Vendors who are eligible to be certified as an MWBE can get certified through The Office of Minority Business Enterprise. The OMBE is a division of Maryland’s Department of Transportation and it is required the MWBEs register with MDOT to bid on contracts. Once certified, MWBEs will be listed on the online directory. The state requires agencies and departments to award a minimum goal of 29 percent of total contract dollar value.[viii]
Veteran Owned Businesses
Vendors whose business are certified as Veteran-owned must be verified by the Center for Veterans Enterprise of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Once verified they can be considered for VSBE subcontracting opportunities. The state requires agencies to award 1 percent of annual contract dollar value to Veteran-owned businesses.[ix]
Get Help Finding the Right Bids for Your Business
Registering your business with a specific state or government agency is great way to get started in the public sector but it may not allow you to receive all the relevant bid opportunities that match the products or services your business sells. This is where a bid intelligence company comes in handy. As a member of BidNet, vendors receive daily notifications of targeted bid opportunities that match what they sell based on unique commodity and service codes, filtering out the unnecessary bids that have nothing to do with your business or industry. The notifications also come with accompanying bid documents, special notices, important bid dates and agency contact information, making it easier for our members to decide quickly which bids to pursue. Along with the notices, our members have access to tools and resources that will help them during the bidding process and allow them to pursue more opportunities!
Danielle Calamaras | BidNet.com
[i] S. Shackelford. World Economic Forum. What the World’s First Cyber Attack has Taught Us about Cybersecurity. 15 Nov. 2018. Web. 1 May 2019
[ii] Market Watch. At 12% CAGR, Cybersecurity Market Size will Reach 300 Billion USD by 2024. 13 Feb. 2019. Web. 30 Apr. 2019
[iii] Market Research Media. U.S. Federal Cybersecurity Market Forecast 2017-2022. 4 Feb. 2019. Web. 30 Apr. 2019
[iv] Maryland.gov. Key Industries. IT & Cybersecurity. 2019. Web. 30 Apr. 2019
[v] Issuu.com. State of Maryland. Cybersecurity Powerhouse. 30 Apr. 2019
[vi] Maryland.gov. Procurement. How to do Business with the State of Maryland. Web. 30 Apr. 2019
[vii] Maryland.gov. Procurement. Small Business Reserve Program. Web. 30 Apr. 2019
[viii] Maryland.gov. Procurement. Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) Program
[ix] Maryland.gov. Department of General Services. Veteran-Owned Small Business Program. Business Opportunities. Web. 01 May 2019