While protecting digital resources may be easy for large companies that can afford to hire in-house cybersecurity staff and establish threat monitoring and endpoint detection infrastructure, this endeavor can often seem impossible for SMBs. All the while, the dangers for smaller businesses could not be more acute, especially since the businesses’ operators and employees are often uninformed about common cybersecurity threats.

By understanding the threats they face and implementing a few relatively low-effort but highly effective protection measures, SMBs can leap into the next phase of growth with their digital assets secured.

Unique threats to SMBs

The scope of cybersecurity threats to small companies is no less varied than the threats large multinational corporations face, but SMBs’ size and lack of infrastructure often leaves them more vulnerable to targeted hacking schemes and threats. Hackers often opt for schemes that require less preparation and risk and find easier targets in SMBs.

One major vulnerability is the disadvantage SMBs face because they often do not control every aspect of their supply chain. A bad actor can conduct a software supply chain hack, isolating smaller vendors and suppliers as weak points with little to no cybersecurity protection, forcing them to unwittingly pass on malware that can disable an entire chain of businesses. SMBs in the logistics and operations industries are particularly vulnerable targets since they are connected to many other companies and will likely be more willing to pay the ransom to quickly resume operations at 100% capacity.

In addition, an entirely new slew of cyber threats has cropped up along with the hybrid work model. In a rush to digitize at the start of the pandemic, many SMBs relied on single systems that they perceived to be safe, including migrating their files and processes to the cloud. They hoped that the cloud’s decentralized nature would prevent them from being victimized by cyber attackers. However, even cloud software providers can be infiltrated, as all it takes is one bug to create a vulnerability. Yet most SMBs fail to acknowledge the new vulnerabilities remote work creates and are now even more vulnerable since they are complacently conducting business through unsecured systems.

All these threats represent a growing danger to SMBs’ success – and some SMBs are more vulnerable than others. Many of the industries (e.g., agriculture) that never thought they would be targeted and therefore eschewed any type of basic cybersecurity are years behind in their cyber protection measures.


Regulations add another complication

Cybersecurity for Small and Midsize Businesses

Cybersecurity for Small and Midsize Businesses by [Marlon Bermudez]