In-depth

The 5 biggest reasons SMBs are expanding their security teams in 2017

SMBs need to ramp up their security defences. But why?

Skills gap

The issue of cyber security poses a unique problem to organisations of any size, with rapidly developing and constantly updated threats a constant worry and a lack of specialised talent leaving many companies vulnerable to significant losses if and when they are attacked.

To find out more about why SMBs need to explore their cybersafety resourcing, download Kaspersky's free report 'Lack of security talent, an unexpected threat to Corporate Cybersafety'

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The solution, then, is for these companies to significantly expand their security teams in 2017 and beyond, in order to simply keep up with the ever-evolving landscape. SMBs in particular are left vulnerable, with budgetary restrictions or a lack of available talent meaning that their security is left lacking.

Talent shortages affect IT businesses and departments across the board, but companies can't afford to leave their security holes unplugged.

In a survey of 5,000 company representatives across various industries by Kaspersky as part of the Lack of Security Talent: An Unexpected Threat to Corporate Cybersafety' report (download here), it was found that almost half of businesses are experiencing a talent shortage, and 46 per cent say they see the need for more specialists.

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Here are five of the biggest reasons SMBs are urgently expanding their security teams.

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There's been an attitude change

It's a given that widespread adoption of advice experts have been dishing out for years takes a while to catch on, and this may be the case with cyber security teams as well. On average SMBs have two security experts per 16 members of IT staff, but 68.5% of all businesses expect an increase. A further 4.1% are even more optimistic, saying they expect it to double.

This shift has likely come about because of an increased awareness of the potential fallout from cyber attacks, and thus of the need for investment in security departments. High profile incidents have highlighted the growing problem for SMBs, who may not be as equipped as large enterprise companies to deal with the aftermath of a similar attack.

Decrease losses following attacks

While many companies focus all of their energy on preventing cyber security breaches, it's actually far more pertinent to reduce risk of significant financial losses should they be attacked. According to Kaspersky's research, companies that are comfortable with their security team's growth pay up to $500,000 to recover from a breach, while those who admit to having trouble pay up to $1.47 million in contrast.

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To find out how these big financial losses can be avoided, read the full Kaspersky report here.

Focus has been changed from ROI

Increased investment in security isn't necessarily a financial decision, with 59% of SMBs (and 62% of large companies) saying that they plan to continue investing in new cybersecurity talent regardless of returns on that investment.

This has come about because of the difficulty in measuring the exact financial benefits of these hiring choices, making it a multifaceted decision for many. The shift away from this measurement has meant that SMBs are able to justify spending more on preventative measures rather than recovery solutions.

Security staff are invaluable employees

There's a tendency to think of IT talent as very good for just one thing, but as cybersecurity becomes a more pressing concern across every industry, newly graduating specialists have had to develop additional skills such as management and knowledge of other areas of business (read more about what university professors have to say in the full report here).

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It's cost effective

Even with the best defences in the world, attacks are an inevitability and it's been proven that hiring appropriate staff to handle the fallout is by far the most cost effective solution. Following a serious breach, SMBs pay an average of $14,000 just on hiring external experts or on paid overtime, in addition to revenue lost from business opportunities, credit rating and compensation for clients With all of this taken into account, it would be much cheaper to just hire specialised talent to prevent the breach from happening.

Further essential reading for SMBs can be found in Kaspersky's free report 'Lack of security talent, an unexpected threat to Corporate Cybersafety'

Download now

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