Recent data from Verizon reveals that small and large businesses suffer from similar vulnerabilities and attack surfaces, yet small businesses face much more difficult challenges.
Small businesses are typically less prepared for a cyberattack than their larger counterparts and attackers are often more successful when targeting small businesses. Verizon’s report indicates that cybercriminals have far more success penetrating small businesses with fewer than 1,000 employees than businesses with over 1,000 employees.
Given that ninety-eight percent of cyberattacks were financially motivated, most attacks result in financial loss. This is a gut punch many smaller businesses may not be able to handle. In fact, 60% of SMEs go out of business within six months of being hacked.
Fortunately, small businesses have a solution in the form of managed security services, a trend adopted by both large and small companies to implement a comprehensive and cost-effective cybersecurity solution.
What cybersecurity risks do small businesses face?
Although small businesses face the same threats as large companies, they are at a higher risk of being infiltrated.
Increased susceptibility to sophisticated attacks
Small and large businesses face many of the same threats; for example, phishing and ransomware.
The difference is in how often these attacks are successful. According to Verizon’s report, cyber-attackers successfully breached small businesses 40% more often than larger businesses—699 successful breaches compared with 496.
Businesses of fewer than 1,000 employees also had far more incidents that led to data leaks than larger businesses: 381 versus 227. These compromises can lead not only to financial and reputational damage, but they can also result in hefty regulatory fines. It’s easy to see how failing to invest in robust cybersecurity can become quite costly – quite quickly!
Recent research by Kaspersky finds that small businesses have weaker security practices, with 22% of data leaks attributed to employee actions. Employees can inadvertently open the door to data breaches through weak passwords, using unsecured personal devices at work, and falling prey to social engineering. Each of these points can be resolved swiftly when there is a comprehensive managed security program in place.
Limited IT resources in the absence of managed security
The costs for in-house cybersecurity solutions add up rapidly, which is a big reason organizations neglect core aspects of cybersecurity, such as employee training.
Adding to the problem is the current cybersecurity labor shortage. And, since the shortage shows no signs of abating, those with cybersecurity expertise often demand higher salaries—if you can find them.
This lack of IT security resources can result in vital security practices being easily overlooked. Some prime examples are 24/7 security monitoring, incident response plans, end-to-end encryption, regular security audits, advanced threat hunting, and a plethora of other essential security services that are required to keep a company from becoming an easy target for hackers.
Cyber insurance premiums keep going up
Cyber insurance premiums keep going up. An increased frequency of attacks and higher insurance payouts are leading insurance companies to hesitate when considering the risks of insuring unprotected companies. As a result, cyber insurers are less likely to cover organizations without comprehensive protection.
Difficult to keep up with new cybersecurity threats and techniques
Small businesses can struggle to stay abreast of new threats. This problem isn’t exclusive to small businesses: 82% of cybersecurity decision-makers confessed that being better prepared could have mitigated damages from their most recent cyber incidents.
That acknowledgment highlights a general lack of understanding of the current cyber threat landscape across large and small businesses. However, the issue can be even more acute at the small business level because there are fewer resources devoted to staying on top of all the latest developments.
Managed security is an investment for small businesses
Managed security can offer expert solutions in critical areas such as threat detection, risk assessment, and incident response. By leveraging managed security services, small businesses can reduce costs by not having to hire extra staff.
Data breach costs are staggering, and can significantly exceed the costs of investing in a robust managed security program.
Managed security providers also bring a distinct advantage regarding cyber insurance, especially when they collaborate with insurance companies to form a mutually beneficial partnership. Insurance companies recognize that a managed security provider’s quality of service greatly reduces the risk their clients are exposed to, and so become willing to lower insurance premiums accordingly.
In the dynamic landscape of cybersecurity, small businesses can’t afford to be left behind. Managed security services allow small businesses to strengthen their defenses, offering an investment that pays dividends through robust, sustainable cybersecurity.
To learn more about how a managed security program can help improve your company’s cyber resiliency, contact us at SolCyber.