An increasing number of small and medium-sized businesses are coming under attack. Yet even as the numbers rise, many SMBs are still unprepared (or under-prepared) at a time when the costs associated with a breach can sink a business. And there are new risks.
Now’s the time to engage your SMB customers in conversation about their security posture. Here are five alarming facts to start with:
#1: More SMBs are experiencing attacks (and sometimes more than one)
Ask your SMB customer if they suffered one or more attacks in the last year.
According to business insurer Hiscox, SMBs are much more likely to have suffered multiple attacks last year and, on average, the number of SMBs that have had an attack has increased 59 percent.
Yet, 66 percent of senior decision-makers at small businesses still believe they’re unlikely to be targeted by online criminals, says Ponemon Institute.
#2: Many SMBs are inadequately prepared for an attack
Ask your SMB customer what steps they’ve taken to protect their business from an attack.
Shockingly, when the risks to SMBs are greater than ever, sixty-two percent said that their firms don't have an up-to-date or active cybersecurity strategy—or any strategy at all.
#3: For some SMBs, the financial loss can be business ending
Ask your SMB customer if they’re financially prepared for the cost of an attack—and what they’re willing to lose if they’re not.
For SMBs that cannot afford the cost of “cleaning up” following an attack, there’s business closure. Consider that twenty-two percent of all SMBs impacted by a ransomware attack had to cease operations immediately.
#4: Weak passwords persist
The “don’t use weak passwords” mantra has been repeated so many times that it’s stunning to find that the top 5 of the 200 most popular passwords that were leaked in data breaches in 2019 were: 12345, 123456, 1234567, test1, and password.
In fact, it takes the algorithms in a brute force attack less than hour to “guess” any password with 8 characters or less—except 8-character passwords with numbers, upper- and lower-case letters, and symbols.
Ask your SMB customers what their password policies are—and how many characters their end-users’ passwords contain.
#5: Remote workers bring new vulnerabilities
Ask your SMB customer how many employees are now working remotely and what the weakest link is when it comes to endpoints.
The Ponemon survey indicated that fifty-six percent of SMBs said that mobile devices and laptops were their most vulnerable endpoints, an increase of 13 percent over 2017.
Now, with more people working from home and accessing the corporate network, those vulnerabilities have only increased. SMBs have become a prime target of malicious actors who know all too well that home networks lack the defenses of corporate networks and security practices are minimal.
Start the security conversation with your SMB customers today. Download this whitepaper to talk about best practices that your customers can begin to put in place to guard against cyberattacks. Or visit techdata.com/security.
About the Author
Julie Wagoner has 10+ experience in marketing/communications, specifically in social media, content strategy and web. For the past year, she worked in social media for the MGM Grand Resort in Las Vegas but previously she worked for Tech Data/Avnet for over 7 ½ years in various positions including leading the companies social media strategy and managing the Authority Blog.