Ninety-six percent of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) believe they are susceptible to external cyber threats, according to a study conducted by cybersecurity and threat intelligence solutions provider Webroot.
The Webroot "Cyber Threats to Small- and Medium-Sized Businesses in 2017" study of 600 IT decision-makers at companies with 100 to 499 employees revealed 71 percent of respondents admit they are not ready to address external cybersecurity threats, and 94 percent plan to increase their annual IT security budget this year.
Other study results included:
- New forms of malware infections (56 percent), mobile attacks (48 percent) and phishing attacks (47 percent) ranked as the top external cybersecurity threats.
- 65 percent of respondents stated restoring a company's public image after a cyberattack would be harder than restoring employee trust and morale.
- Among U.S. respondents, the average cost of a cyberattack where customer records or critical business data were lost was $579,099.
In addition, 87 percent of respondents indicated that their companies provide employees with cybersecurity training, and 89 percent said they were confident that their companies could successfully address or eliminate cyber threats, the study showed.
How Can SMBs Prepare for Cybersecurity Risks?
Webroot offered the following recommendations to help SMBs prepare for cybersecurity risks:
- Plan ahead. Create a plan to respond to security breaches; this plan should include an MSP or other outside resources that can provide immediate assistance.
- Educate employees. Teach workers how to avoid phishing scams and other types of cyberattacks.
- Invest in mobile security. Mobile security tools can help employees protect their mobile devices against malicious applications.
- Review your cybersecurity spending. Analyze cybersecurity risks and budget accordingly. Also, if additional help is necessary, an MSP can perform a cybersecurity risk assessment.
- Update your software. Ensure all business devices are up to date with the latest software and security patches.
- Get ready for ransomware. Develop backup and business continuity plans to prepare for rapidly evolving ransomware.
There is a general lack of preparedness for security around the globe, Webroot Vice President of Worldwide Business Sales Charlie Tomeo said in a prepared statement.
However, organizations that rely on MSPs can improve their security posture and deploy cybersecurity solutions to combat threats across multiple vectors, Tomeo stated.