Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs) are increasingly being targeted by cyber criminals due to inadequate cybersecurity measures. In fact, the UK National Cyber Security Centre reported that SMBs have a 1 in 2 chance of experiencing a cybersecurity breach.
The impact of a successful cyber-attack on an SMB can be detrimental in terms of cost, downtime, and reputational damage, however, the challenge of maintaining network security, adapting to new threats and balancing unpredictable costs, can be very daunting for SMBs.
Lack of specialist resource, complexity of integrating security systems and limited budget are some of the biggest challenges SMBs face in improving cybersecurity.
These key challenges can be addressed by focussing on the following areas:
Addressing personnel challenges
Many SMBs have a significant shortage of qualified security experts that are able to analyse security incidents in a timely manner and deploy the necessary security measures.
The majority of SMBs are aware that cyber security is a critical focus area, although 74% of SMBs do not have sufficient in-house expertise to deal with security issues or to keep on top of the ever-changing cybersecurity threat landscape. Recruiting dedicated cybersecurity personnel can be difficult due to the high cost and lack of candidates. In addition, as in the case with many SMBs, a full time, permanent cybersecurity resource may not be necessary.
Whatever the size of your business, it is essential that you have a robust cybersecurity strategy in place to defend against the threat of cyber-attack and to ensure damage limitation should the event occur. Using a cybersecurity company to advise on the best solutions for your business can ensure you maximise your budget and save you money on personnel costs.
Make employees the first line of defence
A report by IBM claimed that 95% of cyberattacks involve human error and yet 7 out of 10 businesses do not invest in cybersecurity awareness training. Phishing attacks remain the most common and successful method used by hackers against SMBs.
Providing employees with the knowledge and understanding of the cyber threats that they are frequently exposed to, including: phishing, ransomware, malware, social engineering and accessing insecure networks, will help them to become the first line of defence against cyber security attacks.
Cybersecurity awareness training will provide employees with a greater understanding of cyber threats and enable them to avoid and identify these threats, reducing the likelihood of cyberattacks and breaches.
Protect your remote workforce
Undoubtedly, there is a major challenge around mobility and the recent shift to remote working when it comes to cybersecurity, and many businesses are turning to the cloud to overcome these challenges. In fact, 70% of SMBs now host some workloads in the cloud, with 68% claiming to have done so to improve security. However, organisations need to be aware of the potential security vulnerabilities of moving to the cloud and that the cloud does not absolve businesses of responsibly for their own data.
It is also essential to ensure that end-user connections are secure. A VPN (Virtual Private Network), that provides a secure direct link to servers, is an ideal base layer of security for a remote workforce. Adding two-factor authentication (2FA) will introduce an extra layer of security for the organisation and end-users, and enforcing better password protection practices will make it harder for unauthorised users to gain access to the networks of remote workers.
Deploying cost-effective cyber security resources and educating staff can help SMBs reduce the risk of experiencing a cyber-attack.
Security challenges faced by SMBs can be addressed with a combination of people, processes and technology. The cost of implementing adequate cybersecurity measures doesn’t have to be colossal: the National Cyber Security Centre has published a Cyber Security Small Business Guide with affordable and practicable advice for small businesses and, if you need any further assistance, Claritas can advise you on the best and most cost effective security solution for your business. We can offer solutions to fit all businesses and budgets to help protect your company from the potential devastation of a cyberattack.
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