Looking around at the news today, it’s hard to miss the near-constant news of the latest cyberattack. In 2021, businesses saw a 50 percent increase in the number of cybersecurity attacks on their business, leading to major headline-grabbing breaches of critical infrastructure, hospitals, financial organizations, small businesses, and more.
For SMBs, this rise in cyber risk is an even direr situation. According to a recent report, attacks on SMBs have increased by 150 percent over the past two years — causing them to be singled out as one of the organization categories most likely to be potential attack victims. What’s more, the impact of these attacks on SMBs can be greater than on other organizations, given that they typically have fewer resources than a large enterprise to respond to and rebound from an attack should it occur.
How can a small or medium business (SMB) combat this threat? Cyber resilience is one area to consider. Cyber resilience is the processes and procedures an organization uses to ensure its resiliency against cyberattacks, including how to prepare for, respond to and recover from attacks. SMBs should consider what capabilities they have in place today for cyber resiliency and those they can add to increase their abilities to defend against today’s cyber risks.
Cyber resiliency will look different for every organization, depending on its risk profile and resources available. However, there are some basic components for an SMB to consider as they look to build out its cyber resiliency capabilities. The logical place to start is with protection or ensuring that cyberattacks can’t enter or damage the organization in the first place. An SMB should consider its protections around its systems, applications, and access to data. Some specific areas under those categories might include identity access management, vulnerability detection, data security and encryption, and other items.
In addition to protections, an SMB should consider its practices for detecting and responding to potential attacks. Cyber resiliency in these areas could include ongoing continuous monitoring to detect signs of potential attack and building playbooks (and even running drills to practice those playbooks) for how the organization would respond if an attack occurred.
In taking each of these practices into account around cyber resiliency, SMBs can potentially see the outcome of fewer cyber incidents, fewer fines and penalties from regulatory organizations, lower risk of data exposure of their customers, and reduced risk of reputation damage from an attack.
As cyber threats continue evolving, so does an organization’s cyber resiliency practice. SMBs must keep an eye on the latest threats and trends to adapt their strategies accordingly. It is a never-ending journey regarding cyber resiliency, but it is essential in our digital world for an SMB to follow.