There’s no getting away from it: cybersecurity is an ongoing concern for small businesses. And if it’s not, it should be.
As cybercriminals and their techniques grow ever more sophisticated, businesses need to play constant catch up with the latest threats and trends.
The problem is small businesses are both the biggest victim of cyberattacks and are also least able to bounce back afterward. SMEs are usually working on a budget, without a dedicated IT department, and lack the resources and knowledge to both plan for and mitigate security attacks.
The first step for any small business is knowing the current threats and how future cyber trends might affect their company. That way, they’re in an excellent position to be able to allocate their funds to find the best possible solution to secure their business against threats.
5 Cyberattack Statistics For Small Businesses
43% Of Cyberattacks Are Aimed At Small Businesses
It’s sad but true: almost half of all small businesses are most at risk of web-based attacks. Since the pandemic, this number is expected to be bigger due to the growing culture of remote working and the pressure on budgets.
The stretched time and resources that are characteristic of an average SME means that security planning and mitigation protocols aren’t always properly in place, security alerts are often ignored, leading to increased vulnerability to cyberthreats.
Ransomware As The Biggest Cyber Threat To SMEs
According to Datto’s Global State of the Channel Ransomeware Report 2020, ransomware – the criminal act of blocking a device or program in return for payment – is currently the biggest cyber threat to small businesses.
43% of SMBs lack any type of cybersecurity defense plan
A new study commissioned by Bullguard has found that one in three small businesses use free consumer cybersecurity, while one in five uses no endpoint security at all. Because they fail to prioritize cybersecurity, either knowingly or not, they are leaving themselves wide open to cyber threats.
On An Average Year, The Global Cost Of Data Breaches Amounts To $3.86 Million Across SMEs
According to IBM, the cost of a data breach across small businesses reaches $3.86 million (roughly £2.85 million) on an average year. The sum is crippling for most SMEs – not only financially, but in terms of their brand reputation and retention of customers.
60% Of Small Companies Will Fail Within 6 Months Of A Cyberattack
It’s no surprise given the previous point, that 60% of small companies will go under within six months of a cyberattack. The devastation caused by a data breach, both on their systems, processes, income, as well as their reputation and workflow, will often be impossible to bounce back from.
Cybersecurity Trends To Watch In 2021/22
Cybercrime Is Up 600% Since The Pandemic
It’s hardly surprising – given the increasing working from home culture, pressure on resources – that cybercrime is on the rise. 600% is an alarming number that will indicate the importance of taking cybercrime seriously, especially for small businesses.
Supply Chain Attacks Will Be The Biggest Threat To Companies
Given the disruption to supply chains caused by both Covid-19 and Brexit, it’s no surprise that these weaker points will be targeted by cybercrime, particularly ransomware.
Remote Work Will Keep Presenting Challenges To Cybersecurity
The pandemic changed the way businesses work, perhaps for good, with more people working remotely than ever before. That said, our working processes, especially in terms of security, aren’t set up to deal with the vulnerability this presents.
Other trends to look out for are:
- Machine learning and artificial intelligence will play a bigger role in prevention rather than mitigation.
- Real-time data visibility will play a greater role in cybersecurity software.
- Cybersecurity awareness will see a growth in both home users and professionals.
Why Do Small Businesses Need To Take Cybersecurity Seriously?
According to a Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) report in 2020, there are around 6 million small businesses (those employing fewer than 250 employees). That’s a staggering 99% of all businesses.
That said, and as the statistics show, small businesses are not only ill-prepared for cyberattacks, are the biggest target of cybercriminals, and are least about to cope with the impact of an attack, the majority never recovering from the event.
Given that small businesses are drivers of the UK economy, they must take cybersecurity seriously. This means allocating resources – budget, personnel, time, technology – to monitor, mitigate and plan for cyber threats.
Unfortunately, many small businesses think they’re too small to be on the radar of cybercriminals or just don’t have any knowledge of potential threats. This level of naivete, along with the increased gap in security since remote working became more prevalent, means that small businesses need to take cybersecurity more seriously.
What To Look Out For In A Cybersecurity Company
There are many advantages of outsourcing your cybersecurity to an IT Support company. Not only is it cheaper in the long run, but you benefit from a wide variety of knowledge and expertise, gaining the peace of mind that allows you to focus on the job at hand.
Any small business that isn’t confident in the knowledge, expertise, and resources necessary to protect itself from security breaches should outsource to an IT support company.
First of all, your IT support company needs to be an expert in their field. Look for specific accreditations, such as Sophos approved partner status or Cyber Essentials certified.
Secondly, reliability should be a deciding factor when you choose your IT support company. That means that they will be available to you when you need support, be able to respond quickly to your problem, and provide a consistently high-standard solution.
Thirdly, a good IT support company will work with you to find the right solution to meet your needs and budget. They’ll be able to tailor their support as you grow your business, and as your priorities change. Whether you want to be on a flexible or fixed-term contract, they will deliver a package that works best for you.
And finally, look for a company you can trust. This is the hardest part, and usually something you’ll get a feel for in those initial conversations. You can also look for online reviews and customer testimonials to add some social proof to your decision.
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