Cybersecurity And Small Business

Small business cybersecurity is no longer a luxury - the recent Shields Up initiative from CISA illustrates its necessity!

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Cybersecurity And The SMB

Is your Small to Medium-sized Business (SMB) confident about its level of cybersecurity? You could be a part of a troubling recent survey on small business cybersecurity that shows 80% of SMBs are, too, though only 28% report having a plan in place for a cyber attack and 42% have none at all. That shows at the least that small to medium-sized businesses either consider themselves not tempting enough for cybercriminals or subscribe to misconceptions on what makes small business cybersecurity effective or not. 


Making matters even more urgent, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency has recently announced that threats made by Russia over its war in Ukraine warrant the necessity for every organization – no matter how big or small – to have its Shields Up. The nature of the risks makes it critical that you take steps to:


  • Ensure that cybersecurity/IT personnel are focused on identifying and quickly assessing any unexpected or unusual network behavior. Enable logging in order to better investigate issues or events.

  • Confirm that the organization’s entire network is protected by antivirus/antimalware software and that signatures in these tools are updated.

  • If working with Ukrainian organizations, take extra care to monitor, inspect, and isolate traffic from those organizations; closely review access controls for that traffic.


This makes now more than ever a good time for SMBs to consider managed IT security services – it can take away the guesswork and confusion so stakeholders can focus more on running their business and less on the complex tools to keep it safe.

The Necessity of Small Business Cybersecurity Today

SMBs have been long under the impression that they are too obscure to be targeted by hackers and cybercriminals. They point to the stories that make the news featuring large corporations that have been attacked, but even these should highlight the necessity of small business cybersecurity. SMBs are now being chosen by bad actors as a result of the lack of mature security, and even to be used as entry points into larger partner systems. As threats grow for large companies and they react to their online vulnerabilities, cyberattacks will increase for small businesses, as criminals look for easier targets. That, in turn, is opening up more offerings for managed IT and security services for small business owners from MSSPs.


Cyberattacks on small to medium-sized businesses are trending upwards. Between 2017 and 2018 there was an increase in cyber incidents by 32%, and the world is expected to spend $10 trillion on cybersecurity annually by 2025. SMBs are expected to carry much of that burden, with automated attacks becoming more sophisticated and the weapon of choice used by cybercriminals to access your files, your customers’ information, and to form gateways into other businesses. With less time to adapt to an attack, and fewer resources available to prevent them, hundreds and even thousands of SMBs can be simultaneously assaulted by one malicious campaign. There are many methods used against SMBs, with the five most common being:


  • Phishing: Phishing attacks remain the most widespread method used to gain access into small business systems. This is when bad actors attempt to get you to click on a link, open an email, or download a file to gain sensitive information, usually in the form of credit card numbers and/or passwords. Since phishing primarily targets humans within your organization, many SMBs are lulled into thinking awareness training is sufficient to combat it, but phishing campaigns continue to grow more successful every year. If youch choose to go with Intelligent Integration Technologies and our managed IT security services for small business systems, you’ll gain access to stronger tools that are immune from human error. We deploy Cisco Meraki Cloud Managed Security, which has constant monitoring of downloadable files trying to get through to your applications, detecting malicious ones, and stopping them before they arrive.


  • Malware: malicious code that hackers write to gain entry to and damage your data falls under what is known as malware. These are the trojan horses and viruses that are deposited via downloads and connecting to infected devices. Small business cybersecurity is especially important to combat malware because allowing employees to use their own devices is typically more cost-effective in that arena, but those various devices are easier targets because they normally operate in and outside of your network, giving cybercriminals the ability to piggyback their way in. 


Chances are that your small business cannot afford the downtime due to crippled devices while hackers pilfer you and your customers’ data, but with a dedicated team from managed IT security services for smallbusinessess by your side, you’ll have constant monitoring and defense to stay up and running. At IIT we’re partnered with SentinelOne and ConnectWise Fortify to provide you with automated threat resolution, dramatically reducing thmeantimeme to remediate (MTTR) any incident that may occur.


  • Ransomware: Ransomware is a growing threat that small business cybersecurity must protect against. This method encrypts your business’s data so that you cannot access it without paying the criminals a fee. Because small businesses are less likely to have their data backed up, they are the targets of choice, and often have no choice but to pay or fold. Our partnership with SentinelOne has one of the industry’s best ransomware protection packages, with Endpoint Protection and detection and mitigation features. Cisco Meraki Cloud also securely backs up data, and provides small businesses many other useful abilities, like allowing them to scale to full-enterprise level.


  • Weak Passwords and Insider Threats: Both easy-to-guess passwords and insider threats can be purposeful or accidental, but they both expose your business to being compromised. These are also categorized as the human weakness element mentioned with some of the other 3 common threats against small business cybersecurity, and the best way to proactively protect your organization is through fully managed IT security services for small business systems.

The Threat Is Real. The Steps You Take Are Critical.


Small and medium-sized businesses are not immune to sophisticated cyberattacks. Developing conflicts in the world have amplified the cybersecurity threats, and SMBs without effective mitigation risks in place have become the prey of choice to bad actors. You can gain the security and trust you need to stay safe today by reaching out to an MSSP with a solid foundation in IT and Cyberseucrity. Review this article for evaluation criteria you should apply to any MSP/MSSP and reach out if you have any questions.


Peter Frasco is the owner and CEO of Intelligent Integration Technologies and CMMC Registered Practitioner with over 30 years of experience in Information Technology and Cybersecurity including work for the US Army as a Chief Warrant Officer, Silicon Valley Startups, and BlackBerry during their pivot to a cybersecurity powerhouse.

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