Cyberattacks against small businesses are on the rise. Mid-market companies are falling victim to data theft, phishing, malware, and ransomware attacks at an alarming rate.
According to a special report by Cisco, 53% of mid-market companies have experienced a data breach, with more than half of those attacks resulting in more than $500,000 worth of damages. That’s enough to put many mid-market companies out of business within a year. Additionally, only 33% of small businesses believe they could remain profitable for more than three months if they lost access to their essential data.
Mid-market companies’ primary constraints to cybersecurity are time, money, and resources. Many recognize the need to invest in cybersecurity as threats and attacks continue to garner more mainstream awareness. The problem for them now is knowing where to begin.
Comprehensive cybersecurity can be expensive and complex. So mid-market companies often rely on firewalls, antivirus, and other point solutions. Unfortunately, these solutions don’t offer the level of protection that these companies need. Additionally, business leaders aren’t cybersecurity experts. They often have to make a tough choice between multiple vendors claiming to offer small business-specific solutions.
The truth is that most cybersecurity companies don’t have products or services built to address the needs of small and mid-sized businesses. But that doesn’t stop them from trying to take your money. Business ethics be damned.
Enterprise security solutions create a false sense of security for small business
Let’s not beat around the bush: enterprise security vendors lull mid-market companies into a false sense of security. Unethical companies insist that their solutions are more comprehensive than they are. What a vendor might claim as complete protection is commonly no more than a byproduct. While these solutions are critical components of any defense-in-depth strategy, they often don’t cover the full security spectrum. Nor do they address the most urgent vulnerabilities and needs of mid-market companies.
Additionally, enterprise security vendors are often quick to make claims of ease of use and affordability. The reality, however, is that many such solutions are expensive and require the integration of multiple software products. Others may even call for new hardware and a dedicated expert team to operate them. These complexities and additional resource requirements only increase the costs. And that’s a big problem considering the results of a BAE Systems Applied Intelligence survey which found that half of IT professionals say budget is a bottleneck to developing and implementing comprehensive security plans.
The hard truth is that most vendors claim to service small businesses, design their solutions to meet the lucrative needs of large multinational corporations, and then haphazardly try and scale down that technology for small businesses to supplement revenue.
What can small businesses do to evaluate cybersecurity vendors?
Small businesses must challenge cybersecurity vendors to learn if their solutions offer the right mix of processes, people, and technology to deter attacks. If the vendor does not explicitly say they support mid-market companies, don’t even bother. You are not on their radar; they don’t design or optimize a product to work for your company.
Keep your eyes peeled for the second part of this series! In part two we’ll look at the questions you should be asking to make sure nobody is taking advantage of you.