1(630)802-8605 Ravi.das@bn-inc.net

As I have written about this before, it is the small business enterprise that drives the United States economy.  Forget the Fortune 500, they only represent a fraction of what the total business output really is. 

In fact, many of the prospects that I meet with are the Small to Medium sized Business owners (SMBs) that are driven by passion for what they do and a will to be successful in the end.  I too am a very small business owner, driven by my passion to help and educate the American public about Cybersecurity issues. 

There is no doubt that we all have our pitfalls and share of successes, but we will all get to our goals at some point.  It may not all happen the way that we want to, because many times, things just sort of happen out of the blue, when we least expect them to.  This also can also be related to the Cybersecurity Threat Landscape.

We just do not know when we could potentially become a victim, or for that matter, how many layers of protective security need to be added in order to truly defend ourselves.  But even then, the Cyberattacker will always find a way in, if the target is valuable enough. 

But at least the good thing is that the SMBs here in American seem to be cognizant and much more proactive than their bigger counterparts.

This finding is further substantiated by a recent report, which was launched by an organization known as “Untangle.”  Their findings have been released in a publication called the “SMB IT Security Report”.  Here is a sampling of what they have discovered:

*80% of small to medium sized businesses rank Cybersecurity as a top priority;

*Only 30% of those polled spend more than $1,000 or more on fortifying their respective lines of defense;

*52% of the SMBs do not have a dedicated IT Security staff on hand;

*56% of them claim that the Cybersecurity Threat Landscape is hindering their plans for future growth;

*48% of the SMBs have stated that a lack of money or a real budget is a huge barrier when it comes to dealing with IT Security issues;

*36% of the respondents have also stated that they simply just do not have the time to research the new threats that are out there and coming up with ways in dealing with them. 

There were other key findings from this survey, but they were relevant to the current Cybersecurity practices that the SMBs currently have on hand.

My Thoughts on This

Well, first and foremost, it is good to see that the SMB owner is recognizing that security breaches are real, and that they could become a victim.  This is really a far cry from their Fortune 500 counterparts, who for the most part remain clueless about what they face.  It all comes to this:  SMBs have a lot more to lose if they were impacted. 

As I have discussed earlier, it can take years to get a brand-new customer, but seconds to lose one, especially in the face of a Cybersecurity attack.  This is simply a proposition that the SMB cannot afford to take.  The Fortune 500 counterparts obviously have much deeper wallets than the SMBs, so they can afford to lose customers here and there, and spend even millions on marketing and advertising. 

The other finding of the survey also has a cross impact onto the others.  That is, the lack of funding, or being on a very tight budget.  I know what it is like to be on a tight budget for my business.  Heck, I am not even to the point yet where I can hire people yet.  It is because of this that many of the SMBs cannot afford a dedicated IT Security staff to help deal with Cyberthreat issues.

True, it is expensive to hire people, I am not denying that at all.  But there are options out there.  Realize one thing here:  Many Cybersecurity companies themselves are startups and are also on tight budgets. 

Therefore, they realize other SMBs are on the same boat as well.  As a result, many of them are offering virtual based services (which are hosted on the Cloud), which even include hiring a virtual IT Security staff, and even a virtual CIO or CISO. 

Because it is in the Cloud, the pricing is fixed and can be paid monthly, which makes it very affordable.  There may be some apprehension at first using these kinds of services, but an SMB owner can shop around until they find one that they feel comfortable with.  With respect to researching the Cybersecurity Threat Landscape, there is a newer form of technology out there that can help with this. 

It is called “Machine Learning”, or “ML” for short.  I don’t know if there are any tools out there yet on the marketplace that an SMB can directly use, but it will be coming out there.  In this instance, you can get a lot of data intelligence feeds, and literally pump in into the ML tool of your choice.  From there it will learn and predict into the future based on what it has been presented, both in the past and in real time.

All of this can transpire in just a matter of a few seconds, versus the hours and days it could take a human being to do.  The best thing about this is that it too will more than likely be a Cloud based offering, thus making it very affordable for the SMB as well. 

In terms of procuring other types of funding, the Trump administration has recently enacted legislation that makes it easier now to procure money at the Federal, State, and Local levels.

If you can get your SMB some certain kind of designation such as Women Owned Business or a Minority Owned Business, you can even leverage that to increase your chances of getting funding that you need. 

Probably one of the best places an SMB owner is for them to reach out to their Small Business Administration and start from there.  The services here are free, and the people who staff are very friendly in getting the help that you need.

Finally, don’t let the fears of a Cyberattack impede your plans for future growth.  This is just an annoyance that must be dealt with when looking at the entire big picture.  Heck, even I have been breached recently, and I have not let that stop me from reaching my dreams with this business I am trying to propel. 

If you are being proactive, maintaining a good line of defense, and have all the backups that you need in place, there is really nothing more that you can do.

It’s like maintaining your own bodily health.  If you are doing the right things, nobody can fault you if you do end up with a serious illness.  There is no way we can control this, or even or even predict.  It is all just a part of life.  Don’t let the fears of a Cyberattack get you down, live in your passion and it will shine through.

Finally, more information about this survey can be seen here:

https://www5.untangle.com/smbitsecurityreport2019