How to Protect Your Business as Cyberattacks Increase

With the recent increase in cybersecurity attacks on small & medium-sized businesses (SMBs), information technology and security need to come to the forefront of any executive discussion these days. Englewood, Ohio-based D9 Technologies, and Dallas-based Gradient Cyber, talk about the rise of attacks and how to protect your business during this uptick.

Why do Cybersecurity Attackers Target SMBs?

The news is full of information about successful cyberattacks against large corporations and government agencies, making it seem like attackers avoid small businesses. More than two-thirds of all cyberattacks against companies have fewer than 1,000 employees, which means most businesses in the Dayton area are right in the crosshairs. Without adequate defenses or full-time information security professionals, you are a tempting target for attackers. How will they get you?

SMBs Focus on Core Competencies First, Security Second.

Small business constitutes a significant force in the U.S. economy. More than twenty-seven million small businesses in this country generate about 50 percent of our gross domestic product (GDP), making them a desirable and large target for nefarious actors. It’s also a massive misconception that Small or Medium businesses are not technically savvy or early adopters of new cybersecurity technology. SMBs fully understand the need to join the digital transformation, focusing on flexibility, adaptability, and scale. As such, SMB IT budgets are expected to grow by 7.5% in 2021.

The issue is that information security isn’t separate from IT. For SMBs, information security is usually a line item within the overall IT budget—and these line items aren’t significant. A recent study suggests that almost 40% of SMBs have less than $1000 budget dollars allocated for information security. Over 30% of SMB security professionals say that their budgets aren’t large enough to sustain a robust cyber defense. Other barriers to information security include:

  • Employees who won’t follow security policies (24%)
  • No time to learn about new threats (13%)
  • Not enough people to build secure systems (12%)
  • Limited experience (11%)

In a nutshell, SMBs often don’t have enough money, security awareness, or human resources to defend themselves against online threats, which is a problem that attackers are aware of. It gives them several avenues to exploit small businesses.

How Can SMBs Leverage Their Resources to Fight Cyberattacks?

To most, the solution seems simple—if existing budgets aren’t enough to protect small businesses from cyberattacks, then increase the funds. There are a few problems with this argument. However, SMBs don’t have large IT budgets and even smaller cybersecurity budgets, so there’s little room for additional spending and resources.

More money doesn’t equal more staffing or more time in the day. Many cybersecurity solutions require 24/7 monitoring—which would require two or three additional full-time hires. Where do you find and hire these extra people? How much do you pay these people with this unique skill set?

Lastly, what does the additional budget accomplish? Companies that spend millions of dollars on cybersecurity still get attacked, so how can SMBs defend themselves effectively by spending another few thousand dollars on cybersecurity solutions?

SMBs often look to outsource a portion of their IT risk.  This approach helps reduce alert fatigue on the business’s internal resource(s) and allows them to focus on core applications that drive revenue rather than constantly monitor and remediate alerts.  It also compensates for the lack of a large IT team. “By prioritizing incidents to an outsourced third party, often called an MSP (managed service provider), this allows SMBs to expand their team and creates the opportunity to do more with less overhead,” said Eric Brown, Managing Partner for D9 Technologies.

Brown says, “We have an arsenal of security tools and platforms that can identify threats and protect against cyberattacks before they become an issue when managed correctly. Cybersecurity Health Scorecard™ from Gradient Cyber is a tool that provides threat intelligence with an actionable roadmap.

That will protect your company up to about 80%.  That last 20% is the employee piece of the puzzle.  We partner with companies to not only protect their systems and assets, but we also train the employees to watch what to look for so they are aware of issues that would potentially make the company more vulnerable.”

“We see D9 as an important strategic partner and a leading cybersecurity firm in the Dayton, Ohio and surrounding area.”, stated Steve Chappell, Gradient Cyber’s CEO. “Our partnership with D9 positions us to deliver solutions that have an unprecedented level of cybersecurity intelligence. Together with D9, our proven expertise and solutions bring greater threat visibility, cybersecurity, and mitigation to every enterprise.”

Criminals prey on the weak, and it is the same when it comes to cybersecurity.  Whether your business has an IT team or is an IT team of one, arming your organization with the proper tools and partners is essential to protect your investment.