Friday 19th August 2022

BLOG: Are Smaller Organisations Less At Risk Of Cybersecurity Attacks?

Today’s cyber threat landscape means that no business is completely safe from potential data attacks. Organisations face some of the biggest threats and the size of an organisation doesn’t change the cybersecurity risk associated as all sizes are equally at risk. As cyberattacks become more frequent and targeted, understanding the vulnerabilities and available resources to help prevent, identify, and respond to an attack is essential to organisations. Unmanaged cyber risks can expose a small business to a wide variety of vulnerabilities.

Threat actors are programming their attacks more and more frequently, making it easier for them to target multiple small organisations in a short space of time, countless small organisations typically have less of everything to protect against threat actors, APT and other cyber risks such as intense technological defences, awareness of threats, and less time and resources for cybersecurity, which means they become easier targets for hackers over larger corporations.

Reports show that companies with less than 500 employees lose on average, over £1 million per attack. That amount of money lost can be devastating to a small business, including the reputational damage from being hit by a cyberattack.
Balancing the importance of cyber security with core business activity is challenging for many firms. Some cybersecurity professionals found that 55% of business owners said they regularly deprioritise cyber issues in favour of other business activity and that 34% of respondents admitted to not having time to keep across every threat or alert.

Despite the belief that many small organisations treat cyber security as a low priority because they think hackers are more likely to go after the biggest organisations, statistics show differently. Research has shown that up to 60% of small businesses that are faced with a data breach will go bankrupt within six months. It was determined that the average global cost of a single breach costs millions.

Data breaches have destructive outcomes that affect finances and reputation. A strong security program will help you ensure that you have the best practices to reduce your risk. Regular testing of networks, web applications, and staff can help identify the risks that exist in your environment.

As a small business matures its security program and grows, it may want to conduct more advanced testing of its networks and teams. A risk-based vulnerability assessment can help immensely with this. Risk based vulnerability assessments allow organisations to reduce the potential attack surface for threat actors, largely reducing the likelihood of the business impact of a breach. All organisations should conduct risk based vulnerability assessments, especially for small organisations that may just be in the preliminary stages of developing a security program. Vulnerability assessments to analyse the findings and then prioritise these findings by the risk they pose, how etc.

Businesses that ignore important security alerts could be at risk of a cyber-attack or data breach, particularly if they don’t have the right protection in place. The first main line of defence starts with employees. This could range from making sure software updates and patches are installed when required, adhering to password and other credential guidelines, and keeping the IT team informed of any suspicious emails or messages. This should be implemented top-down, with the company’s leaders acting as examples of all cybersecurity measures.

These methods of defence can also prevent insider threats. Insider threat is a risk to an organisation caused by employees, former employees, business contractors, or third-party associates. They can access critical data about your company, which can cause harmful effects through greed, malice, or simply ignorance and carelessness. A growing problem, this can put employees and customers at risk or cause significant financial damage.

Another form of insider threat is any third party you bring into your network. When you bring a new vendor or supplier onboard, you create a new endpoint that can mean vulnerability. That’s why it’s essential to do a detailed assessment of each potential third party before onboarding, verifying that they are a legitimate business and won’t leave you open to any attacks.
All organisations, no matter the size face cyber risks and organisations need to take steps to manage security breaches, increase resilience, and improve operational stability.


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