Cyber security is not something small businesses can afford to ignore.
Cameron Research, a Victoria-based marketing research company, recently raised concerns about small businesses’ inability to be secure online. COVID has been a catalyst to push small businesses out of their comfort zones, and, in general, they have accepted it over the past two years. Cameron stated that the SME markets had probably implemented five to seven years’ worth of tech innovation in just two years. Even the group’s Luddites have seen the benefits technology can bring to an organization and have continued to move forward.
However, cyber security is something that SMEs have abandoned for larger fish to own. Cameron says, “There has been an astonishing lack of development in the thinking and approach to cybersecurity.” One might have expected the exact opposite. With greater awareness of technology and the cyber security issues associated with distributed workforces, it would make sense for business owners to be more aware of cyber issues. They haven’t.”
This could be due to a variety of reasons. Some people rely on the security built-in to their system and avoid any additional measures that may be necessary to protect their business. Many people aren’t clear about who is responsible for security breaches on their systems, such as the cloud or their banking app. Many think it’s their supplier who is at risk. Others know they must do something but don’t know how to get started or don’t prioritize it. They wait for luck while putting other more pressing matters first.
Cameron Research points out that a small number of SMEs are always ahead of the curve in technology, and these businesses are unique. While technology is a part of their thinking, cyber security is also part of it. However, these businesses are far removed from the norm.
Medium businesses, which can be 10m+ in size, view cyber security as their responsibility rather than small businesses. The differences in size seem to make medium enterprises feel more vulnerable and more accountable. They don’t feel able to downplay the possible devastation cyber-threats can cause to an organization and instead must either outsource or school on cyber protection.
Cyber attackers seem to have no regard for the size of the target business. One minor security breach can prove fatal for a small business. We expect to see more small companies making this an essential part of their future. There will be opportunities for brokers and trainers to reach out to them with information on cyber awareness and the best ways forward.