Vulnerability assessment and management programs are a proven necessity for small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) in the United States. But can effective solutions be scaled for organizations with more limited resources? Here's what you need to know to protect yourself in a digital security environment that's more challenging than ever.
In response to Russia's ongoing invasion of Ukraine, the United States and allied cybersecurity authorities recently issued a joint Cybersecurity Advisory. This notification warns enterprises of all sizes, in the United States and around the world, of increased threats from Russian cyber groups targeting businesses and critical infrastructure.
How is this relevant to ordinary SMEs that don't have a specific link to the hostilities? While this advisory is topical, the truth is that small and medium-size enterprises are always attractive targets for cybercriminals for three reasons:
- SMEs typically are focused on mission-critical operations and lack in-house resources to secure their digital systems and data;
- Costs for appropriate mitigations are deemed too high by SMEs and solutions are more limited and piecemeal due to lack of funding;
- SMEs don't understand they are preferred targets, e.g. “We're too small to have anything an attacker would want,” which leads to insufficient protective capabilities.
In today's threat-filled security environment, your small or medium-size enterprise is more vulnerable than ever to attacks from outside cyber criminals, insider threats, simple negligence, and more. SMEs are a target precisely because attackers believe they lack sufficient cybersecurity resources to mitigate common challenges. And if you have privileged data – your own or your customers' – then you have something an attacker desperately wants.
Avoiding becoming a data breach victim requires understanding your threat environment. Appropriate vulnerability assessment and management programs are no longer an option: they are compliance, auditing, and risk management requirement.
Data Breaches & Cyber Security Events: Looking at the Most Recent Data
The IBM/Ponemon Institute Cost of a Data Breach Report 2021, which samples real breaches from organizations of all sizes, spotlights the risks facing SMEs:
- 2021 had the highest average data breach cost in 17 years
- Compromised credentials were the most common initial vector
- Remote work involvement increased costs
- Cloud-based solutions reduced costs and accelerated containment
- Security AI had the biggest cost-mitigating effect
Data for 2022 is beginning to roll in and the numbers point to a continuing need for SMEs to understand the threats they face. The most recent ITRC Report: Data Breaches reveals that Q1 2022 is the third consecutive year of increased breaches when compared quarter-to-quarter: the problem for SMEs is only growing.
However, many SMEs still struggle to successfully strategize, configure, and implement suitable solutions. The answer is an effective vulnerability assessment and management program, one with advanced cloud-based and AI-powered capabilities that provide not only a deeper understanding of organizational information security risks but a more effective means to monitor and manage them.
Cybersecurity that Adds Value to Your SME: Welcome to Workscope
Today, effective and affordable cybersecurity solutions exist that enable SMEs to enjoy the same level of security capabilities that large enterprises have. The ideal cybersecurity solution for your SME should be an operational and strategic asset, fully customized to your program needs, and that supports your team to function more capably and efficiently.
Workscope from Strategic Response Systems does that, and much more, without monopolizing resources. Workscope is a multi-element vulnerability assessment and management solution that understands your industry, assesses your current cybersecurity health, anticipates emerging needs, and manages a framework to achieve your security program objectives.
Workscope simultaneously adds value by identifying opportunities to gain a potential competitive or efficiency edge through IT, automation, and workflow improvements. Pricing is flexible and affordable and is based on your organization's size and the performance you need.
SRS is a trusted advisor to businesses and enterprises that are motivated to meet complex and evolving security challenges. We can partner with you to better compete and thrive in today's digital environment.
The war in Ukraine will pass, however, threats to your organization will persist. Contact us today to begin a conversation about aligning your cybersecurity infrastructure with performance that delivers strategic advantages and ongoing organizational value.
Sharad has a proven track record of delivering successful IT projects underpinned by creative problem-solving and strategic thinking. He brings an extraordinary combination of in-depth technical knowledge, problem-solving skills, and dedication to client satisfaction that enables him and his team at Strategic Response Systems to deliver optimal IT solutions tailored to the specific needs of each organization, from large corporates to small businesses. His impeccable attention to detail and accuracy ensure that his clients get the best possible results.