As so many IT security experts and analysts have preached through the years, small to midsize businesses (SMBs) should be just as concerned with cybersecurity as large enterprises. It seems the warnings are finally sinking in. A recent survey by the Endurance International Group shows that 81 percent of SMBs are currently concerned about cybersecurity and 91 percent think about it “often.”
In a release, Hari Ravichandran, CEO of Endurance International Group, says it’s time for small businesses to take cybersecurity to heart, but perhaps more should be done:
“Cyber-attacks aren't just about targeting big business. From phishing emails to social engineering schemes, small business owners need to be on high alert as hackers find new and creative ways to infiltrate their businesses. Our survey shows that small business owners may not be equipped to handle these new challenges. In our current environment, it's not a question of if your business will be targeted, but when. This should be a wake-up call to both lawmakers and the small business community that we must remain vigilant in protecting against these cyber-threats.”
The high percentages are also surprising considering that only 31 percent have actually experienced an attack or even an attempt of an attack. Considering the increased number of breaches in the past year, most would assume a similar increase would have occurred with all sized businesses.
A majority of these businesses, a whopping 83 percent, also report handling their own IT security, including email and financial data, without a full IT staff. This is one of the more alarming pieces of data from the survey. Most business owners are already overwhelmingly concerned with keeping the business running, so how many of them spend a sufficient amount of time securing data, updating software or scanning alerts for potential signs of cyber attacks?
Another piece of data backs up these fears—58 percent have not “invested resources into cybersecurity protections” in the past 12 months. In addition, just 5 percent have invested in cybersecurity insurance.
Though they haven’t spent much in the past year to increase their data security offerings, small business owners do support the idea of “federal tax incentives/grants” to help them increase their cybersecurity provisions. Still, it’s a bit surprising that a majority of these businesses say they feel that the government is already “doing enough to protect them” from such attacks.
Having government money would help smaller businesses to better protect the data of their customers, though. And since small businesses make up nearly 99 percent of U.S. employment firms and account for 63 percent of the net number of new jobs created in the past decade, perhaps it would be a good idea for the federal government to lend a hand.
The coming elections might reveal just how much our leaders support government involvement in cybersecurity initiatives. It may have finally come time to let our congress chime in on the uptick in cybercrimes and espionage even though the public may still be leery of the government getting too involved in our online lives.