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Closing the ‘cyber-gap’ for SMB’s

Businesses around the globe are rapidly becoming more dependent upon digital technology. This is no longer used to simply function as a business, it also improves efficiency, connects departments and improves customer satisfaction. While this digital boom undoubtedly has its benefits, small businesses are faced with many challenges when it comes to securing their vital infrastructure. Surprisingly, now that there is an increasing trend of BYOD, cloud migration and remote working policies, SMB’s often have complex networks. If measures are not taken to protect these vital systems, many are left with gaping security holes which leave them exposed to cyber-attacks.

What Cyber Security challenges do SMB’s face?

In today’s ever evolving threat landscape, small businesses are highly vulnerable to network security threats. Unlike larger organisations, SMB’s must maintain the security of their business whilst facing resource and budget constraints. This puts enormous pressure on SMB IT managers, as they are pushed to achieve digital transformation as well as efficient, secure services.

But what are the main Cyber Security challenges which small businesses are facing?

  • Lack of Cyber Security expertise- While larger businesses often have large IT teams who can share security responsibilities, SMB’s may only have one IT manager or even no technical resource in-house at all. Understandably, IT staff can become overwhelmed as they do not have the time or expertise to support business demands or Cyber Security needs. Although SMB’s may not be able to fund an in-house Cyber Security expert, they should consider using a managed IT service provider who can offer deep expertise and full-time support (for a fraction of the price).
  • Complicated IT systems- IT managers are often generalists rather than security specialists. Therefore, having an array of complex technologies can be counter intuitive if they are not able to take full advantage of the features in place. By having user friendly solutions with automated workflows and threat intelligence capabilities, small businesses are empowered to focus on what really matters- the growth of their business.
  • Lack of dedicated security budgets- Many SMB’s do not believe they are a target for cyber-attacks. As security experts, we have seen from experience that SMB’s aren’t willing to spend on security until they have already suffered a devastating breach. Only then can they see the value of investing in security systems which can protect their critical assets. Small businesses also face the challenge of having to stretch their IT security budget without subsequently leaving gaps in their security defences. For instance, if they were to dedicate the bulk of their spend on a firewall licence, this could expose other elements of their critical infrastructure.

How can SMB’s ‘Close the Cyber Security gap’?

To improve small business Cyber Security, it is important to invest in security solutions which take the leg work away from over-stretched IT managers. Small office network security must involve technology that can quickly and automatically detect, contain, and remediate malware that evades security defenses. By having security solutions with advanced threat intelligence capabilities, SMB’s can automatically identify harmful security threats before they impact business operations.

SMB security controls need to be user friendly, have advanced features and be powered by automation so that IT managers have the time to focus on their ‘day job’. However, to close this cyber-gap businesses also need them to be budget friendly and easily customised to their specific IT environment. But how exactly can they put this into action?

Use smarter security- introducing a unified approach which is perfect for small businesses: 

The Cisco security portfolio not only ensures that you are protected from the first and last line of defense, it also empowers SMB’s to spend time focussing on business growth rather than IT. Small business Cisco solutions like Cisco Umbrella, Cisco Duo and Cisco Meraki all have state of the art security threat analysis capabilities to help protect SMB’s from attacks.

  • Meraki and Umbrella– Integrating Meraki with Cisco Umbrella helps to safeguard your critical assets and reduces pressure on SMB IT managers. These advanced cloud-managed solutions are both simple to deploy and offer robust, effective security protection for your users and devices. Cisco Umbrella can be deployed in minutes across all access points and provide protection against the latest internet threats (like ransomware and C2 callbacks). The Umbrella and Meraki integration provides a user-friendly dashboard which gives IT admins the control to apply Umbrella policies within the Meraki dashboard. This fast, intuitive deployment and ongoing management experience gives business owners/ IT the breathing room they need to focus on business growth initiatives.
  • Duo – Cisco Duo Security is the only multi-factor authentication app which your business needs. Duo mobile is a user friendly and effective application which can seamlessly identify user identity by sending push notifications to mobile devices. This authentication method greatly reduces the risk of phishing and identity-based cyber-attacks. Cisco Duo is far more than just an authentication app. It is perfect for small businesses because you can gain visibility into each device, enforce tailored policies to suit your business needs and ensure illegitimate users are not able to gain access to business-critical data. Duo also provides valuable visibility into the health of devices and can block access based on network, location and much more. Cisco Duo 2FA is an additional security layer which can be implemented alongside Meraki and Umbrella to help reduce the risk of SMB cyber-breaches.
Stay ahead of the bad guys with a unified security approach

As security specialists we can offer expert advice to help protect data, applications, and workloads to keep small businesses protected from advanced threats. The Cisco Security portfolio enables faster incident detection, visibility of user activity and traffic across your critical infrastructure. Cisco makes it easy for small businesses to get started, and then keep improving security to stay one step ahead of the cyber-criminals. If you would like to find out how we can help to keep your business safe using MerakiUmbrella and Cisco Duo get in touch today to speak to a Cyber Security expert (please use the details below).


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