The 3 Major Obstacles in the Way of Cybersecurity for SMEs and How to Overcome Them


The path of least resistance is usually the path that criminals take in their attacks because that is ‘easy money’. And the least resistance in terms of cybersecurity comes from small to middle sized businesses. Here are the three major challenges that these businesses face when strengthening their security and the ways to get past them:

1. Wrong Perceptions

“We don’t need security.”

“Our firewalls are enough.”

These are some of the most common (and wrong) perceptions that medium-sized businesses have. After all, hackers should definitely target the big guns and not them, right?

Beeep. Wrong.

60% of companies go out of business within 6 months after a cyber attack. And if you’re thinking, “they must include some of the biggest corporations”, well, guess how many large enterprises are included in the statistic?

Zero.

Zilch.

Nil.

Nada.

None.

That’s right. All the organizations that failed were the small-to-medium sized businesses. And that’s not saying that large enterprises are not targeted—it’s just that targeting middle tier businesses is easier.

So, if your company has a dire lack of stringent security measures on the grounds of we-can’t-be-attacked-because-we’re-not-a-large-company, well, my friend, you’ve opened the door wide open for the hackers.

How to Overcome the Challenge?

First, stop laughing at the statistics when they tell you that 95% of all attacks involve some form of social engineering. The numbers are real. Understand that this is something that you need to avoid.

Then create a battle plan.

Bring in people if you have to. Outsource if you can’t (more on this in the last section).

Train your employees to make sure they are not the human factor that brings the company down, and implement security processes from the top to the bottom tiers. If the chief managers and senior-most employees are not taking the security measures seriously, why should anybody else?

2. Stop Discouraging Your Employees from Reporting Threats

There is another common company culture where human error is punished without delving into the details of whys, resulting in a negative impact on the individual(s) in question, but no safeguard against the actual reason for error.

Think about it this way: Punishing your employees for security failures it’s like punishing a toddler for taking candy from a stranger when you haven’t even explained the concomitant dangers to them.

How to Overcome the Challenge?

Mitigate the negative impact of reporting cyber threats, highlight the positives and create incentives for people to follow through security processes.

If someone reports a cyber threat, listen to the details of the events that led up to that error and implement safeguards. Reward people who report cyber threats and/or complete security training to make sure that your employees are not afraid to step up and promote cybersecurity internally.

3. Limited Resources

Small to medium sized businesses usually have trouble doling out budgets for different programs. In a study, 63% of respondents claimed budget restraints to be the biggest hindrance in implementing proper IT security tools.

How to Overcome the Challenge?

If you have limited budgets and you can’t hire a cybersecurity expert in-house, then a viable option is to delegate the task to a company that specializes in the field. Partner with them or have them take care of your cybersecurity training programs, audits and more. This way, you won’t be spending tons on the payrolls of these specialists and would be able to have a more secure workplace.

If you want to learn more details or if you wish to hire a team to train your employees in information security, reach out to Graystone International today.


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