Cybersecurity Adoption On The Rise With SMBs
Cybersecurity Awareness – By Ron Frechette, The Cyber Coach
As the mid-year point approaches in 2019, we are encouraged by the increase in small business owners beginning to take the threat of data breaches, regulatory fines, and potential law suits more seriously. We saw an upturn in this movement beginning in September of 2018 and the trend seems to be snowballing. The demand for third-party IT security risk and compliance assessments has increased month over month and will only continue gain traction as cybersecurity awareness increases and compliance mandates are imposed at the state, federal and global levels.
That said, there’s still lots of work to be done and growth to be had. Let’s examine the small-midsize (SMB) business market in the bell curve below:
The Early Adopters are just now making their mark in 2019. We expect Early Majority (or critical mass) adoption for SMBs to kick in sometime in 2020 and hopefully continue to rise until around 2025. The Late Majority and Laggards will be forced to adopt formal cybersecurity programs due primarily to data breaches, law suits, and loss of business.
The primary market drivers for SMBs adopting cybersecurity programs we see trending are:
- Education & Awareness
- Data Breaches
- Proof of compliance requests from clients and vendors
- Regulatory & Industry Mandates
How Can You Get Started on the Cybersecurity Adoption Path Today?
You don’t need to be a cybersecurity expert to adopt a program. There is plenty of information online to help get you started on the journey to develop a sound and cost-effective cybersecurity program. It all starts with having a plan and framework to begin with. We recommend the following steps to get started:
10 Steps Towards Adopting a Cybersecurity Program
- Become familiar with industry-accepted cyber risk management frameworks like the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST CSF) and GoldSky Security’s DREAMSecure℠ platform for small businesses.
- Know where your sensitive data resides within your infrastructure and protect it properly.
- Perform a Security Risk Assessment.
- Perform monthly Security Awareness Training.
- Leverage multi-factor authentication whenever possible.
- Consistently back up data. Use a secure cloud solution in addition to on premise.
- Patch applications regularly. Unpatched systems are great attack vectors.
- Implement complex passwords. Use pass phrases.
- Limit users with admin privileges.
- Implement endpoint protection using a white list solution.
The digital world has totally changed the way we conduct business. Businesses of all shapes and size will eventually have to offer some form of cybersecurity protection to their clients and vendors in order to remain competitive in today’s digital economy. As the owner of a small business, you owe it to yourself and your family to protect the investment you worked so hard to build. Adopting a cybersecurity program is a huge step towards protecting that investment.
Until next month, wishing you a good journey in cyberspace!
Questions? Send me a tweet: @GoldSkyRon or email: firstname.lastname@example.org