Managing cybersecurity for a small business has never been more challenging. Business-critical operations increasingly rely on cloud-based applications, while employees push for more remote and hybrid work opportunities. And if your small business is like most, odds are you lack the budget to update your security infrastructure so that it keeps pace with these changes. So, how can your IT team protect the company from cyberattacks?
In this blog, we dive into the current state of cybersecurity in the small business world – including statistics about cyberattacks targeting small businesses – and unpack four ways you can improve security as an IT professional serving a small business.
And if you want to learn more about how Cisco Umbrella meets small business cloud security needs, download our free ebook: Small businesses deserve big protection.
For a Small Business, Strong Cybersecurity Is Critical
Make no mistake: Cyberattacks on big businesses may get the most media attention, but cyber criminals target small companies too. In fact, the National Cybersecurity Alliance reports that over 70% of attackers deliberately target small businesses, and 66% of small businesses have already experienced a cyberattack.
It’s not hard to understand the reason for these trends. Even the smallest organizations possess valuable data like intellectual property and customer transaction records. And since a small business probably lacks the robust cybersecurity stack of its larger counterparts, this juicy data is low-hanging fruit – a jackpot for cybercriminals and threat actors.
Here are the stats on small business cyberattacks:
- 47% of small businesses say they have no understanding of how to protect themselves against cyberattacks
- 60% of small- and medium-sized businesses go out of business within six months of a cyberattack
Obviously, a small business requires robust cybersecurity just like a large enterprise does. But unlike big businesses, this protection needs to work within the confines of limited resources and budgets. It’s quite the challenge, and you’re not alone if you find yourself wondering how you can effectively protect your small company against cyberattacks.
3 Security Initiatives for Small Business IT Teams to Focus On
1. Replace the Patchwork of Dated Security Platforms With a Streamlined Solution
Cyberthreats evolve at a rapid pace, becoming more complex, sophisticated, and dangerous as the world moves online. Oftentimes, small businesses looking to defend against these threats rely on a cobbled-together collection of outdated security platforms and ungainly point solutions. Sound familiar?
This situation is far from ideal. These patchwork stacks weren’t designed to provide robust cybersecurity for today’s small business, and odds are your team doesn’t have time to maintain relationships with all the different vendors.
It’s time to trim the fat. Replace your unwieldy stack with an integrated, cost-friendly, cloud-native security solution that will serve as a strong first line of defense for your small business. DNS-layer security is a good place to start – 90% of malware uses DNS in attacks, and you can roll out protection across your organization at the DNS layer in minutes.
2. Pivot to Cloud Security to Protect Remote and Roaming Employees at Your Small Business
For an on-premises security stack to provide protection for remote or roaming employees, all traffic your network must be backhauled through the main office. This increases latency and reduces performance, which is why many teams are switching to direct internet access (DIA). However, this makes on-prem security solutions almost useless.
By switching out on-premises solutions for a cloud-based counterpart, you move the security to where your workers are without slowing them down. And if you partner with a vendor that integrates multiple security functionalities into a single solution, you can easily scale up cloud-based cybersecurity to meet the needs of your small business down the road.
Perhaps a solution like DNS-layer security will meet your needs now, but you want to add more granular web control with a Secure Web Gateway (SWG) later. Or maybe you reach a point where the app visibility and control offered by a Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) becomes necessary. If your vendor provides an integrated cybersecurity solution, you won’t need to worry about managing relationships with multiple security vendors down the line.
3. Reduce Security Gaps by Cutting Down on Shadow IT
The threats are growing and evolving like never before, increasing the strain on small
Cloud-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) apps enable employees to work smarter, faster, and more collaboratively. But usually, the adoption of these new apps outpaces the ability of smaller IT teams to sanction them. This leads to shadow IT – the use of unsanctioned and unmonitored cloud applications throughout an organization. And since you can’t protect what you can’t see, these apps pose a major risk.
Whatever cybersecurity solution you choose for your small business, make sure it provides you with the ability to control cloud-based app use. DNS-layer security allows you to do this in the broadest sense, since you can create custom block or allow lists for domains. But if your small business needs a cybersecurity solution that allows you to perform app discovery and provides more granular control, consider partnering with a vendor that offers SWG or CASB functionality.
How Cisco Umbrella Meets the Cybersecurity Needs of a Small Business
Making sure your small business has the technology necessary for seamless operations is a full-time job. So let Cisco Umbrella take the burden of security off your back. Our powerful solution is easy to deploy and manage, with integrated security functionality delivered from the cloud. This includes:
- DNS-layer security
- Secure web gateway (SWG)
- Cloud access security broker (CASB)
- Cloud-delivered firewall
- Firewall-as-a-Service (FWaaS)
- Interactive threat intelligence
Since Cisco Umbrella is a unified cybersecurity service, you won’t need to worry about monitoring a complex network of overlapping solutions that all generate separate alerts. And since protection starts at the DNS layer – the foundation of the internet – fewer attacks will reach your network. This means less remediation time, less downtime, and less of the costs associated with each. Don’t let the dangers of the internet stop your small business from thriving. Instead, let Cisco Umbrella provide the protection you need. Check out our ebook Small businesses deserve big protection to learn more about how we meet the unique cybersecurity needs of small businesses. And if you’re ready to see our solution in action, check out a free Cisco Umbrella Live Demo.