Think Hackers Don’t Care About SMBs? Think Again.

Think Hackers Don’t Care About SMBs? Think Again.

Cyberattacks on large corporations and global businesses have become increasingly commonplace in recent years. Private data and information of companies and employees are regularly spoils of an attack, often making international headlines when a major corporate is compromised. All areas of the business – IT, PR and management alike – are left reeling when a strike is made, dealing with the fallout of slack security systems when they have unexpectedly been a target of attack.

It can be hugely detrimental to a business – large or small. For SMBs and small enterprises, it’s a sobering thought that many often aren’t protected by the right level of security controls, labouring under the false assumption that they fall under an attacker’s radar. Even more sobering, this is where they are most often caught out.

They may not gain the media attention that a global corporation would for an attack, SMBs experience just as many, if not more, compromises than large corporations, and that number is sharply rising. Data from a study carried out by the Ponemon Institute revealed that the number of cyber-attacks globally has jumped by as much as 21%.

SMBs have proven themselves to be low-hanging fruit for cybercriminals, often with no dedicated IT staff and running their network off unfit-for-purpose consumer hardware with little to no security in place, exacerbated by a general lack of awareness of their vulnerability to attack. D-Link examined the average cost of a security incident, identifying that for small and medium-sized businesses would be EUR 12,000 and EUR 157,000 respectively.

Security incidents for large enterprises are commonplace, and they often have the cash reserves in place to swallow up the damage without being crippled. However, for SMBs, the difference between a profitable year and going out of business often rests on a knife-edge. A ransomware attack could easily tip the balance, plunging a company into liquidation.

Adapting to a hazardous cyber world

Attackers will begin their attack slowly and in a calculated way. Starting with a simple phishing email for example and socially engineering their way to securing non-public information about the way a business is run, people in management roles, and slowly gaining information such as passwords and personal details.

Often the target will only realise an attack has taken place when it is too late. Any financial losses incurred are by then impossible to recuperate – leaving small to medium-sized businesses struggling or in the worst-case scenario having to shut down altogether.

So how are SMBs adapting to a cyber world that is increasingly fraught with hazards? Despite the budget constraints and the lack of IT know-how, those who value their business are turning to subject matter experts hiring them on to their teams or outsourcing security management to a third-party – managed service provider (MSP).

How Can an SMB Win at Cyber Security?

As a business owner or manager responsible for the health and success of a business, what should you look for in an MSP? Here’s a rundown of the three key characteristics when choosing which MSP to partner with:

1. Learning

Find a provider who actively seeks you out and wants to explain why they took the measures they did. They are not just in it for the money, but instead, they take on the role of a teacher. Not only do they provide the tools to protect your business, but they also offer tips, training and advice on how to take steps yourself.

You may think you are smart enough to avoid something as obvious as a phishing scam but are all your staff? Keeping your business safe is a team effort - so you need to look for a partner, rather than just a provider.

2. A Professional Upgrade

Often, your business’s security can boil down to the hardware you’re using. If you’re running your operation on outdated hardware that the manufacturer no longer supports, and has hence stopped providing security updates, you’re just asking for a bad time.

While there is not too much of a price difference when upgrading to professional-grade equipment, the features you receive will certainly pay off in both the long and short term. Nuclias, for example, features the latest 192-bit WPA3-Enterprise Wi-Fi encryption, which is specially designed for use in organisations, offering higher levels of security than that of your consumer-grade router.

Furthermore, updates and upgrades are always a concern. However, Nuclias Cloud neutralises most of the pain with regular, free-of-charge updates – maintain a tight perimeter. If you often find yourself clicking ‘Install updates later’, Nuclias can also help by scheduling firmware upgrades automatically to devices during non-business hours, to cause the least disruption. Your MSP can schedule all of this for you, with minimal interruption to you.

3. A Reliable Track Record

When it comes to cybersecurity, the proof is very much in the pudding. If the MSP has a healthy portfolio of all sizes and industries who report being happy with their service, that is generally a good sign. It requires a bit of old-fashioned research, but it will undoubtedly pay off in the long run.

Next steps to achieving professional-grade security

Businesses that are looking to upgrade their security to that of a professional level are recommended to seek out a provider that offers Nuclias. Not only can they achieve professional-grade security for their business and all its data, but there are a host of other benefits to further add value.

D-Link has seen how other Cloud-managed network solutions have been placed out of reach of many businesses, which is why we’ve designed Nuclias Cloud to be as accessible as possible, without compromising quality.

Neil Patel, Director European Marketing and Business Development

A highly-regarded voice in the networking industry, Neil Patel has spearheaded D-Link's European Marketing and Business Development for nearly a decade.