According to a 2016 Ponemon study, 69 percent of SMBs don’t have the adequate budget or in-house expertise to achieve a strong cyber security position. As a matter of fact, more than half of the study’s SMB respondents experienced a data breach or cyber attack in the past year with an average cost of $879,582.
This is no coincidence as cyber criminals deliberately go after small to medium businesses, especially here in Australia, because they appear to be easy targets and can be part of the bigger picture – target bigger organisations within their supply/business chain. Traditionally, small to medium businesses tend to only have the basic IT security in place or security that fits a certain budget. Managed IT Service providers have access, both in cost and expertise, to the industry’s best IT security software/tools therefore it is the managed IT service providers themselves whom are definitely in the know when it comes to locking down your business network.
But what are the tell tale signs that you should consider a dedicated company to handle all of your IT needs? Let’s look at a few now:
Limited resources and expertise within your business
You have IT staff manning everything to do with IT in your business, but they don’t have the required experience in IT security to fight today’s ever changing cyber criminals who seem to be improving their attacks on a daily to weekly basis. You find that your business doesn’t have enough protection in place should an attack occur – what we mean by this is: backups, email protection, disaster recovery and even data networking. Also regular maintenance is necessary, around the clock, 7 days a week and 365 days a year – not a 9-5 setup. Often when an attack is detected it is either too late to do anything or if the threat is actioned shortly after detecting there are possibilities to fend it off – with a dedicated 24/7 maintenance team and support team watching over your networks, you and your employees will sleep better at night.
You do not have a budget allocated for IT security and in most cases IT security is considered a luxury only reserved for large enterprises. With the emergence of an increased threat on small businesses around Australia, there definitely should be a budget for all your IT security needs, as we’ve seen in the past cyber criminals have become more and more sophisticated with the way they attack, and they attack with no remorse and take no prisoners. The introduction of security solutions that focus on ease-of-management and monitoring, traditional MSPs are adding security-as-a-service to solution portfolios that provide cost-effective security.
Lack of visibility into IT
Are you across everything that your IT department has to fight off cyber criminals? Do you know exactly what IT resources your business uses? SMBs often do not have visibility into what resources are being consumed, where these resources reside, and how they potentially interact. Whether it’s a laptop running lightweight bookkeeping software, or a point-of-sale solution running a SaaS application, the ability to identify what data is being used, where this data is stored, and how it’s processed by users and applications is key to keeping that data secure.
SMBs also tend to adopt practices such as “Bring your own Device” and “Bring your own Identity” to keep things simple for customers and help their employees be as productive as possible. This leads to very fluid controls that create security risks and unpredictable complexities and make it even more difficult for a business to understand its IT resources. Managed IT service providers can help identify and fill these critical security gaps with monitoring and reporting services and design an organization’s network and platform infrastructure to ensure proper identity and control measures, while continuing to satisfy ease-of-use and productivity requirements.
Your Line Of Business Is Part Of A Vulnerable Ecosystem
Does your business interact with multiple vendors or businesses within an ecosystem such as healthcare, hospitality or even financial services? Whether contractual or permanent, attackers may target your IT system to launch an attack at one of your direct or indirect partners. Even if you’re sure that your business is of no interest to attackers, consider working with an IT service provider to protect your relationship with your partners.
With the Australian Government setting a AU$195 million budget for cyber security alone, be mindful that we may see regulations put into place where businesses have to have measures in place to counter attack cyber criminals. Compliance and regulations are usually what drive the need to explore and implement security practices. SMBs offer ripe targets for today’s cyber criminal. In 2016, smaller organizations were targeted specifically with spear-phishing trojan attacks and point-of-sale attacks. To overcome these challenges, SMBs need to be vigilant in protecting their employees, customers and partners.
If any of the five signs listed above resonate, it’s time to talk with us and see what we ca offer your business. Call us on 1300 768 779, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out our online form and one of our representatives will be in touch ASAP to discuss your IT requirements.