A worrying number of SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) don’t believe they are large enough to be targeted by cyber criminals in the form of an information security cyber attack. As a result, over seven out of ten small businesses were the victims of some form of breach in 2015. This state of unpreparedness is not just a result of naivety but a lack of finances and skills. According to a study undertaken by the Ponemon Institute in 2016, 69% of SMEs did not have the necessary budget or in-house expertise to be able to protect their information systems.
Fortunately, there is a solution; Managed Security Service Providers (MSSPs).
Outsourcing security to a dedicated team of professionals is an achievable way for SMEs to access high performance cyber defence systems at a fraction of the cost that it would take to employ these in-house.
To find out whether your SME could benefit from an MSSP agreement, check whether any of these tell-tale signs apply to your business:
- Your company does not have a budget for cyber defence.
A survey conducted by Experian showed that over half (51%) of all SMEs do not have a specific budget dedicated to risk mitigation for cyber attacks. Cyber defence is often viewed as a luxury that SMEs cannot afford. The truth is that with 60% of companies going out of business up to six months after a cyber attack – you can’t afford not to be protected. MSSPs offer a cost effective way to bolster your cyber defences.
- Your business does not operate in a standalone environment.
If your business regularly interacts with other networks for the purposes of data-sharing, accessing information or processing transactions then you not only have increased access points for hackers to exploit but you also offer additional sources of data to hack.
- Your IT personnel does not include a CISSP
Protecting your IT system in the current landscape requires the expertise of a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and most SMEs do not have this critical experience on their team. This can leave your network exposed and offering an easy entrance point to your company’s data.
- Your IT systems lack visibility
In order to implement a robust defence policy, information is key and if your company lacks the basic visibility to understand the extent of your hardware and software network then not only is your ability to defend it diminished but it can make recovery from an attack almost impossible.
- Compliance Management is deemed an inconvenience rather than a necessity
There are many regulations in place when it comes to handling and storing customer information and complying with these is not only a legal requirement but a primary duty of care to your customers. Most MSSPs have experience with ensuring that these regulations are adhered to and that any updates in legislation are implemented.
If any (or all) of these signs ring true for your organisation it could be time for you to consider partnering with an MSSP to outsource your cyber security needs.