Cybersecurity concerns for small businesses

Cybersecurity, data protection and data handling are recurring topics that affect all organizations in today’s online environment. Despite this, cybersecurity concerns for small businesses remain more acute as they are uniquely vulnerable to attacks or exploitation.

Small businesses and organizations can include a wide range across different industries, up to even a few hundred employees. The thing defining them is not necessarily pure size, but rather available resources they can make use of.

What makes small businesses vulnerable?

As was brought up on TechRadar, one of the things that makes smaller businesses or organizations more vulnerable is they are significantly less likely to have dedicated employees whose specialty is cybersecurity and keeping their systems protected.

This lack of available specialists is compounded by the unwillingness of many organizations to seek help regarding their cybersecurity posture. Censuswide found that 47% of businesses in the UK develop their cybersecurity policies internally and express full confidence in them without consulting external expertise. Not in and of itself a problem, it still raises uncomfortable questions about the quality of their policies and structures.

While the article points out several possible approaches that organizations can take to minimize the impact of this risk, it is nevertheless an underlying structural fault of many organizations across many fields, from the IT sector to education. And in addition, there is an additional effect of this:

Small businesses and software

In addition to difficulties with keeping a permanent information security team and adhering to industry best practices on limited resources, small businesses will have a hard time finding the spare funding to keep their data protection systems modern and up to date.

This can have several forms – the most common of which is simply keeping legacy systems – archives, backups, antivirus and the like – long past their EOL date. This is an unfortunately common method of cutting costs in the short term, but increases operating risks for the organization as a whole.

The same false economy can often be seen in other aspects – acquiring outside help or external security audits, ensuring backups adhere to the 3-2-1 standard, or migrating your data to and from the Cloud are all commonly disregarded actions.

While costs are saved, cyberattacks continue

The most recent high-profile cyberattack struck HubSite, a major CRM provider, leaking some of their customers’ data. This is just the latest development in an ongoing trend which we have pointed out repeatedly, and which is being met with understandable concern.

In the light of this, it is increasingly important for organizations to cease treating cybersecurity-related risk mitigation as an optional or low-priority investment and begin addressing it more thoroughly. As the data has made it clear, it’s no longer a question of if you will be impacted by online threats – it’s when.


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by Matúš Koronthály