Data Security is SMB Leaders’ Top Concern

There is a common misconception among small and midsized business (SMBs) that hackers only target large organizations. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Data security is just as important for small businesses as it is for large enterprises. In fact, more than 70% of the cyberattacks are targeted towards small businesses (Source: Verizon).

We often hear about major attacks on conglomerates in the news because these companies have a significant digital presence and make for interesting reports. However, where delving out millions to free their data from hackers may be a small dent in the revenues of these companies, a couple of thousand-dollar worth of damage for a small company could potentially drive it out of business. Why then would hackers go after SMBs?

Simply put, hackers target SMBs because it’s easy money. First, the smaller the business is, the less likely it is to have adequate cyber defences. Moreover, even larger SMBs typically don’t have the budgets or resources for dedicated security teams or state-of-the-art intrusion prevention. On top of that, smaller businesses often lack measures like strong security policies and cybersecurity education programs for end-users, so common vulnerabilities like poorly trained users, weak passwords, lax email security and out-of-date applications make SMBs prime targets. What’s more, some hackers specialize in breaching specific business types or industries, refining their expertise with each new attack.

Protecting against cyber-attacks is a top concern for SMB leaders today.

However, 21% of SMBs does not have a data protection solution in place. 58% of C-level executives at small and medium businesses (SMBs) said their biggest data storage challenge is security vulnerability (Source: Infrascale). Majority of the SMBs find themselves to ill-equipped to deal with cyberattacks on their own.

77% of SMBs anticipate that at least half of their cybersecurity needs will be outsourced in five years’ time, and 78% are planning to invest more in cybersecurity in the next 12 months. Some SMBs are willing to pay 27% more, on average, than they currently pay for the right cyber security offering (Source: Vanson Bourne, global technology market research experts). When small businesses are ready to increase their budget, you know it’s serious

Data Security means different things to different people

Certain aspects of data protection are more important than others depending upon an individual’s unique experiences and position. But data protection clearly delivers significant value from many vantage points.

When asked what data protection means to them, 61% of the survey group named data security and encryption. The same share said data backup. Nearly as many (59%) defined data protection as data recovery, while 54% cited anti-malware services.

Forty-six percent said data protection addresses email protection. Data archiving and the ability to become operational quickly after a disaster each captured 45% of the survey group’s vote.

Meanwhile, 44% of the group said data protection means ransomware protection/mitigation. The same share named physical device protection for endpoints such as laptops and mobile phones. And 32% said that for them data protection involves processes that prevent user error.

Data protection can come into play in a wide array of important ways – including data security and encryption, data recovery, email protection and data archiving. It also provides the ability to recover quickly from a disaster, protection from and mitigation of ransomware, and physical device protection.

Opinions about data security vary by industry as well

The research suggests there is significant disparity in what top executives from different sectors consider the most important aspect of data protection.

In the legal and logistics space, 89% of executives said data protection provides data security and encryption. Top executives in architecture and design firms see data backup and data recovery as the most important aspects of data protection. This clearly points towards why the data is important to these specific industries. Where hours of hard work go into creating blueprints for architecture and design firm, entire operations are at a risk of shutting down for manufacturing, transport, and distribution firms. While the same can have significant regulatory implications for the legal sector.

Data Security is SMB leaders’ top overall data protection concern

The overall survey group said cyberattacks are the biggest data protection issue their companies are facing. Nearly half (49%) of the group voiced their concern about hacking.

Micro disasters such as corrupted hard drives and malware infections were the second most indicated concern, garnering a 46% share from the group. System crashes (41%), data leaks (39%), ransomware attacks (38%), and human errors (38%) were next on the list.

There was some variation in sector response here as well. Top leaders in architecture and design front said that micro disasters are their biggest data protection issues. But more than half of the survey respondents in both the legal and manufacturing sectors said cyberattacks such as ransomware are their leading data protection challenges.

Views about data protection definitions – and what is most important to the protection of SMB data – may vary. But most SMBs clearly believe it is important to have a data protection and/or backup and disaster recovery solution in place. CSG Technologies demonstrates significant industry specific expertise in helping enterprises build custom data protection plans in line with what is important to them. Each organization is different, but one thing all businesses have in common is a desire to eradicate downtime and data loss. We help enable comprehensive data protection with modern backup and disaster recovery solutions and strategies.

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Matt Parks

About the Author: President & CEO, Matt has over 20 years building and leading high functioning teams
delivering exceptional results