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Cybersecurity Challenges for Small to Medium Business

Cybersecurity Risks for SMB’S

Many small companies have a mindset of bad actors and cyber threats only targeting “other” companies, “bigger” companies.  In reality, all it takes is one careless click on a link in an e-mail to bring a whole company to its knees.  Cybersecurity risks for small to medium businesses are genuine. 

Information security statistics published by the Ponemon Institute state that a hacker attack could cost a small business $690.000 on average, enough to put 60% of victims out of business within six months after the breach.1. 

Apart from the obvious financial constraints, many small businesses handle customer data internally and need more resources or knowledge to keep it secure, as larger organizations with a team of IT (Information Technology) workers do. Because of this, they are often at risk of attacks. 

Medium-sized companies could even be at greater risk than small companies.  Mid-size companies have assets more valuable than small-size companies but fewer IT security resources than big companies.

Osterman Research revealed that medium-sized companies received more phishing emails than small companies and, on average, more than large companies.  


It isn’t just businesses targeted by threat actors either; even non-profit organizations like churches deal with ongoing cyber threats, as a U.S.-based church found out after losing almost US$2 million to a phishing scheme.

There are many consequences beyond the obvious financial ones. Many small and midsize companies have business relations with larger organizations, and bad actors can use these relationships to access larger companies’ networks and employees. Therefore, any security incident can have far-reaching effects on clients and partners.

SMBs are more susceptible to cyber-attacks due to a lack of resources in combination with a lack of focus on cybersecurity issues. Many companies rely on self-research for threat information or don’t do any research at all. The lack of skilled employees is another problem small to medium-sized companies must deal with daily. Many SMBs have a small IT team that does everything, from hardware installation to software updates to network maintenance. This causes IT security to be moved to the back burner as operational tasks are given priority. Finding alerts by sifting through a sea of data can be daunting.

SMBs that employ a dedicated IT security person will find attracting security talent challenging. Clearance Jobs showed 166,000 openings for information security analysts between October 2019 and September 2020, but only 125,570 employees working in such positions. This gap can make it difficult for small businesses to find the right employee with the proper compensation as salaries rise to entice candidates into these positions.

Another threat small and medium companies deal with is more directly related to the era of remote and hybrid work environments of today. Employees connecting to small business networks from home are vulnerable, as home Wi-Fi systems may have different safeguards than on-premises networks have. Visibility has grown particularly cumbersome in the remote work era. Identity management becomes critical as businesses must ensure that those who access the network are who they say they are. Due to remote working companies having to make so many IT additions and adjustments, many environments are more complex than ever. This remote working era presents a new opportunity for hackers to dismantle the company system.

Managing what authorized users can access is imperative to keeping data safe. Employees need to work with specific files and applications to do their jobs, but limiting their access to data they do not need is essential. That way, even if they are compromised, critical parts of the infrastructure won’t be breached.

Small and mid-size companies are at considerable risk and face multiple challenges if a successful cyber-attack happens. Protection from bad actors should be a high priority in small and mid-size companies, and having correct measures in place to protect and respond to threats will go a long way in ensuring SMBs can stay in business if an attack should happen.

Employee empowerment and the right security solutions can improve a small business’ security posture. They can also consider prospects of third-party managed security equipped to deal with various threats.

  • 43% of cyber-attacks target small businesses.
  • 60% of small businesses that are victims of a cyber-attack go out of business within six months.
  • Cybercrime costs small and medium businesses more than $2.2 million a year. 
  • There was a 424% increase in new small business cyber breaches in 2022.
  • Healthcare is the industry that is most at-risk for cyber-attacks.
  • Only 14% of small businesses rate their ability to mitigate cyber risks and attacks as highly effective.
  • 47% of small businesses have no understanding of how to protect themselves against cyber-attacks.
  • 3 out of 4 small businesses say they don’t have the personnel to address IT security. 
  • Human error and system failure account for 52% of data security breaches. 
  • 63% of confirmed data breaches leverage a weak, default, or stolen password.
  • Cyber-attacks caused by compromised employee passwords cost $383,365 on average.
  • 1 in 323 emails sent to small businesses are malicious.
  • The median small business received 94% of its detected malware by email.
  • 54% of small businesses think they are too small for a cyber-attack.
  • 83% of small businesses haven’t put cash aside for dealing with a cyber-attack.
  • 54% of small businesses don’t have a plan in place for reacting to cyber-attacks.
  • 65% of small businesses have failed to act following a cyber security incident. 
  • Small businesses spend an average of $955,429 to restore normal business in the wake of successful attacks.                        
  • 40% of small businesses experienced eight or more hours of downtime due to a cyber breach. Accounting for an average of $1.56 million in losses. 
  • 91% of small businesses do not have cyber liability insurance.


Surviving a shocking experience or recovering from a disaster usually helps us prepare for the future. However, a cyber security report published in 2018 by the insurance company Hiscox claims that 65% of small businesses do not take data safety seriously, even after an attack.

These three steps to a successful strategy for safeguarding small businesses are a good start:


– Having a basic security posture, allocating necessary funding for security in the yearly budget, and ongoing education, awareness, and employee training.


– Monitoring critical networks and logging security violations both manually and automatically and having a “see something, say something” attitude regarding employees.


– Being prepared for any situation and having plans in place to respond quickly and effectively to threats.

According to the Denver Post, 60% of small businesses go out of business six months after a cyber-attack. The only way to stay in business is to be prepared and resilient.
Small businesses can do a lot to create a basic but effective security posture on a budget. Knowing the threats goes a long way in setting up defenses without spending unnecessary funds.

Two-factor authentication has been available for a long time, but many businesses still haven’t taken advantage of it. Along with single sign-on, two-factor authentication can ensure that only the right people are accessing your network.

Using a cloud security posture management tool such as CDW’s Cloud Check can show small businesses where they are unprotected, allowing them to fix problems before threat actors can get their hands on them. There are many solutions that can help to secure remote work and hybrid work environments. Secure access service edge is an architecture for remote users that allows safe access to applications and information, integrated right into the infrastructure. SASE also provides additional visibility into these complex environments, allowing IT professionals to monitor their architecture.

Using a cloud security posture management tool such as CDW’s Cloud Check can show small businesses where they are unprotected, allowing them to fix problems before they are exploited.

Network segmentation even in small business networks is a valuable tool in keeping private and sensitive data out of the eyes of unauthorized persons.

In Closing

The best way for small businesses to roll out new solutions is by connecting with experts who can point them in the right direction. Organizations that don’t have the resources to employ an in-house security expert can outsource the task to ensure they are up to date with the latest protections. Getting help from Cyber-Security professionals like Servadus will keep your data safe. In cyber-security, prevention really is better than curing. By connecting with a security expert that knows the challenges small businesses face daily you can stay in business and focus on what makes your company thrive.

Servadus has the experience and knowledge to help small and medium businesses to stay protected without overspending. By taking our affordable Cybersecurity Risk review you can gage where you need assistance. All our services can be bought in our online store, making it the easiest security decision you will make today.

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