Sergey Nivens - Fotolia
The days when SMEs thought only large enterprises were targets for cyber criminals have long gone but smaller customers are still struggling to fend off threats.
Research shared by Kaspersky Lab has revealed that a third of the smallest firms often hand over responsibility for security to a member of staff without expertise in that area.
That is leaving the smallest firms open to risk and the vendor found that 37% of the operations with 25 people or less have been hit by a ransomware attack in the last year.
The timing of the research is no accident and comes with the vendor's launch of Kaspersky Small Office Security, which can be installed and active without the need for a cyber security degree.
But that aside the Kaspersky findings should highlight the very small business market as a key one for the channel to focus on.
“Small companies aren’t always able to prioritise cybersecurity protection, in their pursuit for growth, but the evolving threat landscape continues to pose significant risks," said David Emm, principal security researcher, Kaspersky Lab.
The same threats that are being faced by larger SMEs and enterprises are still waiting to snare the firm using between 5 to 25 computers.
"New technologies give businesses new opportunities to grow, but it’s important to protect against these risk factors – especially when it comes to sensitive data, which is often a small company’s key asset,” he added.
The pressure is on all businesses to improve their security defences but a lack of skills is a plague right across the spectrum.
Steve Patakey, svp and chief revenue office at SonicWall, said that the impact of the skills issue went right to the very largest of customers.
“Our customers absolutely cannot keep ahead of this. Even if you are the largest enterprise there is a gap. This is where the channel’s value add comes in,” he added “How do you get good at this? You get good at this through education and enablement.”
“There is no shortage of people that need to understand this and need your knowledge,” he said.