7 Key Cybersecurity Challenges SMBs Face
We’ve all heard about the recent global ransomware attacks Petya and WannaCry. The news instilled a sense of fear in businesses around the world, as they illustrated that cybercrime doesn’t discriminate and organizations of all sizes in every industry are potential victims. Despite these high-profile attacks throwing cyber security into the mainstream media, knowledge on how to address cybersecurity varies widely, especially for small and medium businesses (SMBs). This in itself, provides a unique business opportunity for communications service providers whereby they can help address key cybersecurity challenges facing the SMB market.
Whereas most large enterprises are aware of the importance of investing in cyber security, the level of cyber security awareness in SMBs unfortunately does not reflect how vulnerable they are to attacks. SMBs represent a large and attractive market segment to cyber criminals, yet nearly half of all SMBs think that there’s no way they could be hacked. Statistics also show that More than 60% of all cyber-attacks are aimed against small businesses. If those numbers aren’t enough to convince SMBs to invest in security, 60% of those attacked go out of business within six months of the breach and the average cost of a breach to a small business is nearly $400K.
SMBs continue to struggle with implementing the right cyber security solution, working with fewer resources and must prioritize accordingly. When it comes to financing cyber security, SMBs operate on a tighter budget which may not always account for the cost of adequate customer premise equipment (CPEs) like firewalls. On top of that, the number of security solutions on the market today can be overwhelming and put vulnerable SMBs into a state of “analysis paralysis”, where they choose not to implement any solution at all. There are seven key cybersecurity challenges SMBs face that provide CSPs with a significant revenue opportunity:
1. Effective solutions, for maximum protection, can be extremely expensive. Moreover, no matter how many solutions are implemented, no organization is completely secure. Service providers can help SMB customers by offering security as a service through a subscription model to deliver approachable, cost-effective solutions that address their unique needs.
2. Additional software/equipment may not be easily integrated into existing cybersecurity measures. This can result in duplication of effort and other inefficiencies. CSPs can address this by offering an integrated and comprehensive solutions that work together. Additionally, providing different levels of service or ala carte pricing, allows SMBs to subscribe to just the right level of defense that fits their situation and budget.
3. SMBs may lack adequate staff to monitor systems full time. Cybersecurity solutions are most effective when they can protect from cyber-threats on a real-time basis. SMBs may not have the capacity to monitor and mitigate threats, providing solutions that offer the ability to automate and help manage the process can be extremely valuable to SMB customers.
4. Solutions often require on-site knowledge. The SMB may not be fully prepared to implement and manage an end-to-end cybersecurity solution. CSPs can help by offering easy-to-implement solutions that can be switched on or off remotely as needed via a self-service portal. A CSP might also consider offering security operations as a service, either as an ongoing service or when needed in an emergency.
5. Alert fatigue and “false positives” can hamper productivity – Sifting through patch update and other security alerts can take hours and easily sap the productivity from a small staff. SMBs need to have solutions that can help them easily determine what is important to do immediately and what can be updated or addressed later.
6. Deeper insight and analysis is needed after a threat is detected. Before they can even evaluate a threat, businesses need to be a deeper analysis to understand the threat, what is at risk and to see if there could be any potential side effects of patches, updates or attack mitigation commences. This can be time consuming and expensive for the SMB. CSPs can provide services that can automate threat detection, validation and mitigation.
7. Once actual threats are confirmed, the SMB must then respond effectively. Often, the specific details of the threat are revealed only after a breach has occurred, by which time it may already be too late to prevent damage. Again, by providing services that can automate threat detection, validation and mitigation, CSPs offer valuable resources to stay ahead of threats and help address the issues before it’s too late.
Since the threat landscape is always changing, it would be wise for SMBs to adopt the attitude that the attack is not a matter of if, but when. As stated previously, working with tighter resources means it can be difficult to keep pace with the latest security trends and solutions, especially when the question of whether to implement a solution is still on the table. SMBs are in a difficult position, as they must focus on operations and expanding market share to survive, yet they often have not yet reached a size and valuation where enterprise-level security solutions are sustainable. This provides a unique business opportunity for the CSP by offering flexible cybersecurity services that fit the needs and budget of the SMB.