The previous 12 months have spelled heartache for small companies throughout the globe. For many, the yr has additionally offered a chance to train agility, creativity, and adoption of digital practices which have moved from want lists to must-have lists.
We’ve seen a pointy enhance in demand for sure applied sciences in the previous months as companies of all sizes facilitated a work-from-anywhere strategy. Small enterprise leaders have just a few issues on the prime of their minds as in-person workspaces reopen: hybrid work environments, bolstered infrastructure, and improved cybersecurity have grown to be priorities.
The 2021 Security Outcomes Study for SMBs
And that final piece of the puzzle – cybersecurity – was the main focus of a Cisco-sponsored survey that was independently performed and analyzed and launched at the finish of the final yr. In our full examination, we surveyed 4,800 organizations of all sizes from throughout the globe about their safety practices and the outcomes they ship. Nearly 20 p.c of respondents categorized as small and mid-sized companies (SMBs), with distinctive safety challenges that their bigger counterparts don’t face.
We questioned – is that strategy to cybersecurity and the distinctive challenges they face mirrored in the solutions to the survey? The reply, fairly merely, was sure.
We’ve taken these findings and boiled them down for our SMB viewers, making Cliff’s Notes model (bear in mind these?) of kinds get to the survey outcomes that resonate most with our small enterprise viewers with the 2021 Security Outcomes Study for Small and Midsize Businesses (SMBs).
What did we uncover for our smaller companies? The outcomes would possibly shock you, particularly there are just a few areas the place SMBs excel in cybersecurity. Hackers and different ne’er do wells are opportunists – you don’t should be a billion-dollar firm to be susceptible to cybersecurity assaults. And equally, you mustn’t have large IT budgets or staff to have best-in-class safety in opposition to vulnerabilities.
So the place is SMBs main the way in which in cybersecurity in keeping with the 2021 Security Outcomes Study for SMBs? What are the primary outcomes that small companies ought to concentrate on to drive enterprise success? Is there such factor as an excessive amount of wine or chocolate?
As a result of our survey, we realized that SMB safety is caring for enterprise. Would you consider that SMBs can educate enterprises a factor or two about efficient safety? It’s true – the information exhibits that safety and total enterprise operations are extra tightly built-in in small and midsized companies. This relationship helps SMBs create safety approaches that allow the enterprise, one of many three pillars we targeted when creating the examination: allow the enterprise, handle threats, and function effectively.
Under these three classes, listed here are our primary takeaways from the survey for small companies.
1. Plan for the worst; hope for the very best.
The previous 12 plus months have highlighted the necessity for a rock-solid catastrophe restoration plan for companies of all sizes. And among the many 25 safety practices, we examined, immediate catastrophe restoration capabilities and well-timed incident response had been the most important differentiators of success between SMBs and their bigger counterparts.
How can your small enterprise flip that into a successful issue? By leveraging that well-known adage, “plan for the worst, but hope for the best.” Have a restoration plan in place for “when” not “if” a safety incident happens. While our survey discovered that SMBs don’t expertise safety breaches as typically as their enterprise friends, the relative effect is devastating to an SMB’s backside line.
Let’s take a better have a look at mathematics. When a $100B enterprise experiences a typical cyber occasion at the price of $292Okay to the enterprise, that represents 0.000003% of annual revenues. A small enterprise with annual revenues of around $100Okay, alternatively, will doubtless lose $24 or extra, which equates to just about one-quarter of their earnings. That’s fairly a distinction in total effect.
Being proactive vs. reactive might help SMBs mitigate threat and decrease the general effect of a possible safety occasion – a successful technique.
2. Invest in trendy know-how.
The safety menace panorama is eternally evolving. And it’s very important to take a position in trendy know-how that retains tempo with it. Of all the safety outcomes measured in our report, small companies that saved their know-how up-to-date had been extra profitable in every of the 11 safety outcomes we measured. These SMBs had been additionally capable of modifying extra simply to shifting safety wants to be introduced by COVID-19 and the decision for a distant and hybrid workforce.
In quick, it’s laborious to guard in opposition to in the present day’s threats with yesterday’s know-how. Let’s revisit the breach situation outlined above. How can small companies keep away from that? By implementing safety processes (suppose worker schooling and coaching new instruments and procedures tied to enterprise outcomes) and options resembling Cisco Designed Secure Remote Work. A layered strategy to safety helps shield groups, endpoints, information, and in the end the enterprise from threats whereas enabling work to occur anyplace.
Also key are cloud-delivered Software as a Service (SaaS) options that may be up to date and refreshed as new threats emerge. As our work environments proceed to evolve in the aftermath of the pandemic, a contemporary tech stack that allows agility and effectivity whereas offering safety could be a differentiator for SMBs.
3. Keep safety priorities prime of thoughts.
Finally, don’t let safety slip out of your record. From recipes to journey itineraries (oh, the day after we can journey broadly once more), we all know the significance of a plan. A similar holds true for small companies and cybersecurity, notably when sources are restricted and stretched skinny. Per the survey outcomes, SMBs which have a sound technique in place for information safety initiatives had been considerably extra prone to report profitable outcomes. Additionally, a superb safety technique was comparatively extra vital for SMBs than bigger enterprises.
When evaluating safety priorities and techniques, one phrase involves thoughts – simplicity. But easy doesn’t imply ineffectively. A streamlined safety technique that works with the enterprise and retains up with its evolving wants can supply greater levels of success for SMBs than these of bigger organizations, per the survey outcomes. This is nice information for small companies, which may prioritize their investments and concentrate on areas the place they see essentially the most return.
Get the 2021 Security Outcomes Report for SMBs
Cybersecurity will proceed to be a precedence for organizations of all sizes as we transition from totally distant to hybrid work environments. With the proper technique and instruments in place, SMBs can grow to be extra resilient and agile in our ever-changing safety panorama. SaaS options, resembling Cisco Designed Secure Remote Work and our full vary of safety choices, could be a crucial success issue in serving to mitigate safety threats.
For extra info on these primary takeaways and extra, entry the total 2021 Security Outcomes Study for Small and Midsize Businesses (SMBs). We additionally just lately held a #CiscoChat Live that covers the findings of the report a bit extra in-depth. You can take heed to the recording right here.