Running a small business has never been easy, but in the third decade of the 21st century, there are more challenges than ever. Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) need to attract and retain good talent, deal with complex health insurance requirements, handle customer complaints and, on top of all that, ensure they are growing intelligently to fend off the competitor down the street. Unless their business is involved with technology, one of the last things they likely think about is cybersecurity — and this leaves them vulnerable.
The reality is that SMBs face a minefield of potential risks and cyberattacks. In fact, the number of attacks increased as much as 21% in regions including the United States last year, according to the Ponemon Institute’s 2019 Global State of Cybersecurity in Small and Medium-Sized Businesses Report (via CPO Magazine). Equally important, most SMBs are simply not as prepared to deal with the fallout of a cyberattack as larger enterprises are.
A research study of more than 3,000 small business owners in the U.S. and UK revealed that 23% of SMBs use no endpoint security, and 32% rely only on free solutions. This leaves many SMBs at significant risk.
Cybersecurity must become a front-line business priority for SMBs — as much of a priority as it is for large enterprises. That goes for all small businesses. Cybersecurity is as important for a plumber as it is for a dentist’s office or professional services company. Not taking the right preventative steps compromises your finances, business plans, employees and customers.
A survey indicated that 57% of SMBs believe they won’t be targeted by online criminals; however, nearly 20% reported an attack in the past year. Research from a 2019 Verizon report (via Security Boulevard) on the risk of data breaches showed that almost half of reported security breaches occurred at SMBs.