Top Three Challenges Hindering SMB Cybersecurity

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More than ever, SMB cybersecurity is a moving target. Cybercriminals now have more and better infrastructures at their disposal, able to target many companies at once in an indiscriminate, automated fashion.

In the past, they may have been more targeted in their approach, hand-selecting enterprises and big organizations based on personal vendettas, access to trade secrets, larger sums of money, and the like.

Today, every company, big and small, is a target, and there is a growing awareness that SMBs need to take cybersecurity more seriously. But it isn’t as straightforward as it sounds because of the following SMB cybersecurity challenges.

Cybersecurity Budgets

While enterprises and larger organizations may be able to spend untold sums acquiring the latest security technologies and hiring top-shelf IT consultants and specialists, SMBs generally have budgetary constraints that make it difficult to keep up with pressing needs.

Many SMBs don’t have an adequate budget for cybersecurity.

In March 2020, Forbes reported that one in five SMBs don’t use cybersecurity. Additionally, in 2018, Juniper Research found that small businesses were spending, on average, under $500 per year on cybersecurity.

This may seem like old news. And thanks to cybercrime showing up in the headlines more frequently, SMBs are starting to take cybersecurity more seriously in 2022.

But even if your company’s cybersecurity budget is being maintained or is expanding, knowing where to allocate resources can be just as challenging.

Many SMBs find that their current allocations are either insufficient or aren’t working to the degree they originally thought they would in dealing with SMB cybersecurity threats.

Upgrading software and cybersecurity tools aren’t enough. A holistic approach to employee training, threat detection, and internal systems are crucial to managing present-day SMB cybersecurity challenges. This generally requires a bigger budget.

Cybersecurity Teams

To cope with present-day SMB cybersecurity threats, a company must:

a) have access to skilled team members that understand cybersecurity well and

b) have buy-in from their employees to take action and follow critical security protocols.

Finding the right talent can be a challenge at the best of times, and they can be even more difficult and expensive to retain over the long haul. Many companies are looking to hire skilled IT and security specialists.

UpCity recently reported on a 2022 study showing that only 50% of SMBs have a cybersecurity plan. So, most companies can’t even be expected to have a comprehensive view of their cybersecurity operation.

But turning a blind eye and hoping for the best is a losing strategy given the facts.

SMBs have options regarding their cybersecurity, whether it’s biting the bullet and finding the best talent, training their existing employees, or turning to cybersecurity agencies and third-party security services.

But if they were to hire an agency to manage their security systems, there would still be a considerable financial outlay that may not fit within SMB budgets (also see earlier point). It is, however, one of the more tenable long-term solutions for most.

Also, Download Your Copy of OWASP Top 10 2022 Playbook

Cybersecurity Systems

Regarding SMB cybersecurity, we cannot forget to put the proper structures in place to ensure employees are trained, procedures are followed, and technologies are managed and utilized to the greatest extent possible.

Siloed security and IT teams are problematic in carrying out cybersecurity plans systematically. Communication must take place between these teams, and they must be able to work together to implement, manage, and oversee critical security functions and solutions.

All employees must be trained in possible threats, especially phishing and ransomware. Even with expensive automated infrastructures and prevention tools in place, if your employees end up clicking the wrong link or leaking sensitive information to a hacker, all your other expenses, and sophisticated cybersecurity measures can be rendered moot instantly.

And what holds for systems, as much as any other challenge mentioned here, is the rapidly changing environment of SMB cybersecurity threats. Cybercriminals constantly adapt to new firewalls, antivirus software, secured networks, and other technologies, finding new vulnerabilities and workarounds. They’re able to do all this in a semi-automated fashion.

Cybercriminals can operate cost-efficiently enough to have every SMB in their crosshairs. This tells you just how critical every SMB must have a comprehensive cybersecurity system like AppTrana


SMB cybersecurity may be a challenge. Every company must address budgets, teams, and systems to adapt to the fast-changing environment of cybercrime.

But that doesn’t mean solutions aren’t available. The key is to have a holistic view of cybersecurity. Otherwise, you will always have weaknesses that are easy to exploit. You must strengthen your defenses from every angle to have a complete cybersecurity solution. And, critically, don’t forget to adapt. Just because you have a workable system now doesn’t mean your current cybersecurity plan won’t go out of date. It’s a constantly changing field.