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Most SMBs Fear Ransomware Attack Amid Heightened Geopolitical Tensions

Credit: OpenText

OpenText, a Canadian information management specialist, has released a new study in which nearly nine in 10 of the 1,332 security and IT professionals surveyed from small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) said they feared a ransomware attack on their organization.

In addition, the survey’s findings, which were gleaned from U.S., U.K. and Australian organizations, showed a “growing concern” about the impact of geopolitical tensions and rising inflation rates on their vulnerability to a ransomware attack.

The MSSP Factor for SMBs

SMBs, in particular, are fertile ground for managed security service providers (MSSPs) and managed service providers (MSPs), the study found. More SMBs outsource their security to an IT provider or MSP than not, with 58% using external security management support. The potential for more involvement is also there, as some 65% of SMBs that don't engage an MSP would consider doing so in the future.

Another plus for MSSPs and MSPs is that OpenText, which is the parent company of security providers AppRiver, Webroot and Carbonite, has recently pushed into managed extended detection and response (MxDR) services for MSSPs and MSPs.

A Deeper Dive Into The Survey

Some additional survey findings:

  • More than half (57%) of SMBs are worried about their cybersecurity budget shrinking amid rising inflation rates.
  • 52% of respondents feel more at risk of suffering a ransomware attack because of heightened geopolitical tensions.
  • 84% are concerned about a ransomware attack impacting their business.
  • Nearly half (46%) of SMBs have experienced a ransomware attack, yet 67% still don't think or aren't sure they are a ransomware target.
  • The majority (60%) of respondents are not confident or only somewhat confident that they can fend off a ransomware attack.
  • Despite many having experienced an attack before, security budgets are minimal to protect against ransomware and other threats. In fact, 60% of SMBs spend less than $50,000 per year on security while 50% spend less than $20,000 per year. Only 10% spend more than $50,000 per year.

Commenting on the survey, Prentiss Donohue, OpenText security solutions executive vice president, said:

"SMBs are a sweet spot for hackers to exploit because they often lack cybersecurity resources, both technology and security expertise. Today's complex threat landscape presents a huge risk to SMBs that don't have sufficient cyber resiliency preparation to stop the spread and recover quickly from an attack. With adversaries becoming increasingly sophisticated and relentless, a multi-layered protection strategy is no longer a nice to have, it is a necessity."

D. Howard Kass

D. Howard Kass is a contributing editor to MSSP Alert. He brings a career in journalism and market research to the role. He has served as CRN News Editor, Dataquest Channel Analyst, and West Coast Senior Contributing Editor at Channelnomics. As the CEO of The Viewpoint Group, he led groundbreaking market research.