We all know you must first recognize that a problem exists before you can solve it. This principle is particularly relevant when it comes to meeting the challenges of cybersecurity. We’re happy to note that the results of Webroot’s 2015 SMB Threat Report reflect growing concern by small and midsize businesses about potential weaknesses and vulnerabilities in their security strategies.
This candid self-awareness represents a marked change for many SMBs, who in the past downplayed security threats simply because they thought that “it won’t happen to me.” These SMBs believed they were too small for hackers to target, or that they had little of value to tempt cybercriminals. But, in today’s world, the automation, commoditization and low upfront costs of becoming a professional cybercriminal are such that it requires only minimal skill to set up a cybercrime business and start trawling the Internet for victims.
Not surprisingly, under-protected and under-funded SMBs make for attractive targets to these criminals. The good news is that many SMBs are waking up to the very real threats they now face, and to the fact that they are ill-equipped to handle those threats with their in-house IT resources.
And that translates into enormous business opportunities for MSPs like you. For our SMB Threat Report mentioned above, we commissioned new research on how small and midsize businesses are preparing to stop cyberattacks, and if outsourcing IT security would increase their cybersecurity.
Survey Says: SMBs Can’t Do It Alone
In total, we surveyed 700 IT decision-makers in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia, across organizations with 1,000 employees or fewer. Their responses to a broad range of questions regarding their resourcing, preparedness and management efforts on cybersecurity are compelling, revealing a worrisome lack of readiness—and strong motivations to engage the security services of an MSP:
- 63% of all SMBs surveyed were not completely confident in their readiness to counter attacks and protect themselves.
- 40% of SMBs surveyed were not confident they could respond to malware infecting a computer or mobile device.
- 44% of SMBs surveyed agree they do not have enough time to stay up-to-date on cybersecurity threats.
- A staggering 81% of respondents agreed that outsourcing cybersecurity to MSPs would improve their IT staff bandwidth.
- 56% of respondents reported they spent less than 17 hours (just two business days) on cybersecurity in the past six months.
- 81% of SMBs surveyed plan on increasing their budget by an average of 22% in 2016.
Key Takeaways for MSPs
The survey results highlight the willingness of most SMBs to spend more on their security budget, acknowledgment that most are not properly equipped to combat a cyberattack, and their admission that they do not have the time to adequately spend on cybersecurity. These factors combine to create a pool of potential clients that every MSP should strongly consider pursuing.
In future blog posts we’ll drill deeper into the various security challenges that the surveyed SMBs grapple with, and why MSPs can effectively—and profitably—address them. Stay tuned!
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