Cybersecurity is a central concern for Small Medium Businesses (SMBs), as the latter are increasingly relying on IT systems and infrastructures in order to support their business models and deliver their services. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Information Security Breaches survey, in 2015, over 74% of SMBs in the UK faced at least one cyber security breach associated with their IT infrastructures and services. At the same time SMBs across all sectors experience an over 10% increase in cybersecurity incidents every year. Cybersecurity can have a serious impact on SMBs competitiveness, as it disrupts operations, incurs significant remedial costs and jeopardizes SMBs compliance to security regulations. Furthermore, even though there is a host of cybersecurity solutions available, there is no easy way for SMBs to adopt and deploy them.
In principle SMBs face very much the same cybersecurity issues as large corporations, without however possessing the knowledge, staff and equity capital required to successfully prevent, mitigate and confront these challenges. This makes them relatively more vulnerable to cybersecurity attacks, when compared to larger enterprises. Overall, when it comes to adopting and leveraging cybersecurity solutions, SMBs have to deal with the following challenges:
The rise of Managed Security Solutions (MSS) provides SMBs with a way of eliminating some of the above challenges. MSS alleviate SMBs from the burden of hosting and understanding the details of the cybersecurity infrastructure, since security is outsourced to a provider. MSS is essentially a Security-as-a-Service (SECaaS) model, which enables SMBs to access security services on-line. Examples of on-line SECaaS services include data protection, network protection, intrusion detection, authentication, anti-virus protection, security incidents detection, vulnerability analysis and more. MSS and SECaaS enable SMBs to secure their IT infrastructures and services without on-site resources (e.g., hardware, software, personnel). Moreover, these services are delivered on the basis of a pay-as-you-go paradigm, which leads to cost-savings as compared to the upfront purchase of licenses for security products and services.
Despite their benefits, MSS and SECaaS solutions are currently associated with several constraints, which limit their applicability for SMBs. These challenges include:
Overall, the implementation of proper cybersecurity control remains challenging for SMBs. MSS solutions provide benefits, but are still not adequate to cover all SMEs concerns. Therefore, SMBs have to plan and launch cybersecurity projects that will safeguard them from security risks, while at the same time enabling them to adhere to security and data protection regulations. Partnering with the proper expert is vital towards properly planning the needed cybersecurity project in a way that minimizes risk and optimizes costs.
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