Looking back at 2021, we can see that cybersecurity for SMBs continued to grow. This year cybersecurity is more essential than ever before for all types of companies, especially small and medium-sized businesses. These businesses are the easiest targets for cyber security attacks due to their limited resources and insufficient training. According to the data collected from various resources, 43% of small businesses were victims of cyberattacks, and 60% had to close their businesses in 2019 due to severe damage to their infrastructure. Small and medium-sized enterprises typically have fewer defensive measures and view cybersecurity as a low priority since they don’t consider themselves a target. However, these firms are continuously subjected to DDoS attacks, phishing attacks, data breaches, and identity theft.

Types of Cyber Attack a Small Business May Experience

Small and medium-sized businesses can be attacked by a variety of cyberattacks, including injection attacks on their web applications, DoS, DDoS attacks that flood network servers, preventing users from accessing resources. Ransomware attacks are also on the rise and SMBs have the most to lose. Targeted businesses are left with no choice but to shut down their firms because attackers ask for large amounts of money to decrypt their files.

Cybersecurity for SMBs is challenging because businesses are also most susceptible to social engineering assaults. SMBs tend to lack proper training and awareness regarding cybersecurity. Attackers try to spoof fake emails, calls, or methods to access internal networks through their employees.

Reasons why small scale businesses get breached

  • Many companies believe in self-efficacy, assuming they will mitigate any cybersecurity threats that come to them without considering the severity of the attacks.
  • No investment is made in preventative cybersecurity measures, like a penetration test. Companies don’t believe they will be a cyberattack target; they believe the cyberattacks are unlikely, so they do not put the necessary defences addressed to protect their assets.
  • No budget is allocated to implement safeguards, install firewalls, intrusion detection, and prevention systems.
  • Refusal to use preventive measures because it is falsely believed that the damage of attacks will not outweigh preventative costs.
  • Modelling security measures to conduct risk assessments but insufficient knowledge or resources leave loopholes behind for attackers.

Cybersecurity for SMBs: Deficiencies

According to the studies, 70% of small businesses consider themselves “moderately knowledgeable” regarding cybersecurity and online risks; this is not enough to be prepared for an attack. Additionally, companies tend to diminish the significance of awareness, preparedness, and cybersecurity training. Only 8% of employees working in small and medium class businesses have received cybersecurity training. Some companies only hire one or a  few IT employees to maintain their security posture in addition to their infrastructure and IT support tasks which can prove to be quite challenging to manage.

How to protect SMBs from cyberattacks

Entirely securing an organization is almost impossible, but there are ways to prevent and prepare for cyberattacks and mitigate and stop the damage. The following are measures that can help small and medium-sized businesses avoid cyberattacks.

  • Take part in company-wide training programs to avoid social engineering and suspicious activities.
  • Allocate an annual security budget and invest in security tools. Using prevention techniques might be difficult for small and medium businesses with tight financial constraints. Active monitoring software, as well as some open-source tools, can assist in cost-effectively building a more secure cybersecurity posture.
  • Separate confidential information from the external network. Small and medium-sized businesses have manageable amounts of internal and external information, so an easy security solution would be to separate private data from the public network.
  • Apply the principle of least privilege to main assets; this can help limit attack vectors.
  • Hire an external cybersecurity agency. Outsourcing to experts in the industry can help build a security posture for the organization.

Conclusion

Cybersecurity education can boost SMB self-efficacy for comprehending and executing important security components. However, this year, in 2022, IT employees and those in leadership positions should ensure that their organization has a security strategy in place. Information technology changes rapidly, and the increase in emerging technologies is also accompanied by new types of cyberattacks.  Organizations should consider allocating an annual or biannual security assessment in their budget to help protect against future threats. Our Packetlabs staff is always accessible to assist you in locating any vulnerabilities in your infrastructure so that your organization may continue to operate smoothly.