COVID-19 has caused a growing strain on small to medium-sized businesses due to a greater need for cybersecurity in an increasingly remote work era. As the landscape has quickly changed since the pandemic lock-downs began in March, a disconnect has developed between small businesses and their budgeting for cybersecurity needs.
A 2020 SMB IT Security report (Source) found that 38% of Small and Medium Businesses (SMB )spend less than $1,000 per year on cybersecurity, yet 74% ranked network security as a top business priority. That’s a major disconnect. Of the 38% that spend less than $1,000 per year, how many are only one click away from complete failure? All it takes is for one employee to click a wrong link and the entire organization is out of commission. These are the existential stakes we’re dealing with.
In a pandemic dominated year, many businesses are struggling with their budgets for more reasons than one–but most importantly as it relates to the 2020 SMB IT Security report, the pandemic has specifically put budget strains on the need for increased cybersecurity spending as many organizations are having all or a large majority of employees working remotely from home. While at first this may have seemed to offer a potential for cost savings compared to being in the office, after months into the pandemic, organizations and IT security professionals are continuing to realize the increased cybersecurity risks due to so many remote workers.
Based on a survey of over 500 SMBs, the 2020 SMB IT Security Report had the following key findings:
- 33% of SMBs have one hundred percent of their workforce working remotely
- 88% of SMBs have at least some of their employees working remotely
- 56% plan to continue to have at least some of their workforce working remotely on a permanent basis
These numbers beg the question: Why are organizations not prioritizing cybersecurity for their remote workforce? Here are the top 3 reasons:
- 48% – Budget Constraints
- 36% – Lack of Understanding of Cybersecurity Threats
- 32% – Rogue Employees Who Do Not Follow Guidelines
What are the best next steps for my business?
First of all, make sure that your business is taking the proper cybersecurity steps. If that results in more IT costs, compare it to the costs of a Cybersecurity breach, which could put you out of business.
Second, are you charging enough for your products and services in order to cover all of the costs of doing business including increased cybersecurity costs? Think of it this way: you may need to increase your prices/rates for the same reason malpractice insurance and rates for surgeries are interconnected. Cybersecurity and the cost of operating your business via computers on the internet are related.
This report is part of our team at PK Tech’s efforts to highlight heightened cybersecurity threats in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s time to make sure your business is properly protected and prepared in an ever-changing cybersecurity climate.
Reach out to PK Tech today if we can support your business needs our support or an evaluation.