Lately it seems almost impossible to read the news without being bombarded with reports about yet another security breach which has affected a large organization or business. And yet, with all of these warning signs, many SMBs are taking a “it doesn’t affect me” approach to their own business’ security. Unfortunately what many SMBs don’t realize is that their security vulnerabilities are often the welcome mat these hackers need to infiltrate the larger organizations that they partner with as vendors, suppliers or service providers. They may be unaware that this makes them a prime target for hackers. Worse yet, this may be costing them new business opportunities.
Cyber criminals Target Companies with 250 or Fewer Employees
In 2012, Symantec research confirmed that cyber criminals are increasingly targeting smaller businesses with 250 or fewer employees. Attacks aimed at this demographic practically doubled from the previous year. This news has made larger enterprises particularly careful about whom they do business with. This means that any SMB targeting high-end B2B clientele, or those seeking partnerships with large public or government entities, must be prepared to accurately answer questions pertaining to their own security protocols. This requires an honest assessment of the processes taken to limit security risks. So what can an SMB do to ensure they are not missing out on potential opportunities?
View Security Measures as Investments
SMBs must start viewing any extra investment to enhance security as a competitive differentiator in attracting new business. Adopting the kind of security measures that large enterprises seek from third-party partners they agree to work with will inevitably pay off. The payoff will come by way of new revenue-generating business contracts that will likely surpass whatever was spent to improve security.
Would-be business partners have likely already asked for specifics about protecting the integrity of their data. Some larger entities require that SMBs complete a questionnaire addressing their security concerns. This kind of documentation can be legally binding so it’s important that answers aren’t fudged just to land new business. If you can’t answer “yes” to any question about security, you need to find out what it takes to address that particular security concern.
Where a Managed Service Provider Comes In
Anyone who isn’t yet working with a Managed Service Provider (MSP) should definitely consider it. First, a manual network and security assessment offers a third-party perspective that will uncover any potential business-killing security risks. A good MSP will produce a branded risk report to help you gain the confidence of prospects to win new business.
A MSP can properly manage key elements of a small company’s security plan. This includes administrative controls like documentation, security awareness training and audits as well as technical controls like antivirus software, firewalls, patches and intrusion prevention. Good management alone can eliminate most security vulnerabilities and improve security. So what are you waiting for?
Intega IT provides a FREE Network and Security Assessment which includes a Client Risk Summary Report that highlights any issues in your current network which could be red flags for potential business clients.