Cybersecurity troubles for SMBs could be traced back to attitudes and beliefs about security itself. Some 51% of small business leaders and 35% of employees said they don't believe their company is a target for cybercriminals. according to new report from Switchfast Technologies.
"From a loss of customers to a damaged reputation, small businesses have a lot to lose, and one in three business owners have no safeguards in in place to combat a cyber breach," the report said.
Risks such as electronic wire fraud and phishing continue to grow, and it is high time that SMBs evaluate their current security posture and see what changes need to be made. In its report, Switchfast Technologies surveyed more than 600 full-time small business employees and 100 C-suite level leaders to determine their riskiest work behaviors.
SEE: Incident response policy (Tech Pro Research)
On the networking side of things, 66% of SMB employees and 44% of SMB leaders said they connect to public Wi-Fi to do work.
Email practices were even worse. Some 35% of employees said they haven't changed their work email password in the last year, the report noted, and 19% admitted to sharing their email password with a coworker. Some 22% of SMB leaders said they have shared their password with a coworker or assistant. Additionally, 19% said they use personal data such as their birthday or Social Security number in their password.
Multi-factor authentication was also largely ignored by SMB leaders, as 76% said they had not enabled it for their work email. Employees weren't much better, as 69% said the same thing.
Education also left much to be desired, with 21% of organizations providing no security training for employees. Also, 65% said they had never run a phishing test, despite the prevalence of phishing attavcks in business.
For tips on how to help employees learn more about cybersecurity risks and prevention measures, click here.
Update: This article previously cited an incorrect statistic that 60% of SMBs that suffer a cyberattack will go out of business within six months. That statistic has no verifiable origin and was debunked by Nextgov.
The big takeaways for tech leaders:
- 66% of SMB employees and 44% of SMB leaders said they connect to public Wi-Fi to do work — Switchfast Technologies, 2018
- More than half of small business leaders, and 35% of employees, do not think their business is a target for cybercriminals. — Switchfast Technologies, 2018
- A winning strategy for cybersecurity (ZDNet special report) | Download the report as a PDF (TechRepublic)
- Security warning: Your suppliers are now your weakest link (ZDNet)
- Cheat sheet: How to become a cybersecurity pro (TechRepublic)
- SMB-focused cybersecurity marketplace Whitehawk to list on ASX (ZDNet)
- 4 ways SMBs can protect their networks from hackers (TechRepublic)
Conner Forrest has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.