SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Small business owners and technology professionals gathered in Sioux Falls Wednesday for the fifth annual cyber security conference. 

“Everybody really has a responsibility to understand the vulnerabilities in their own environment,” Dakota State University president Dr. José-Marie Griffiths said.

Whether you own a retail business on main street or have an office full of employees, all work environments are filled with technology, making all businesses a potential target for a cyber-attack.

“Some of the biggest invasions we’ve seen in this country have started in small businesses at their point-of-sale systems,” Greater Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Jeff Griffin said.

“It affects all businesses, in fact, it affects every single one of us who use the internet, it’s quite far-reaching,” Dr. Griffiths said.

It’s why the Better Business Bureau and the Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce have partnered together for a fifth year to host the Sioux Falls Cybersecurity Conference.

“We have private business owners here, learning more about cybersecurity, international threats, targeting and harvesting data, getting into their intellectual property so they can get the best protections in place,” Griffin said.

“Get ready for an attack, before you have an attack, so you don’t have an attack, or if you do, you can actually defend effectively,” Dr. Griffiths said.

From cybersecurity insurance, to understanding the potential threats and training employees against the issues addressed at this conference are rapidly changing each year.

“It’s one of those topics if you don’t keep your act sharp on it, you can be affected really quickly,” Griffin said.

The chamber plans to continue hosting the cybersecurity conference each year to provide local businesses with continued training while also connecting business owners with the local resources available year round to help improve their cyber security.