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The Cybersecurity Practices SMBs Must Urgently Prioritize in 2021

As the pandemic intensified, many companies struggled to adapt. In a worldwide survey mentioned by Infosecurity Magazine, 54.7% of companies reported that, during the pandemic, their biggest difficulty had been simply enabling their workers to transition to working from home.

In the same survey, 39% of companies revealed to having experienced videoconferencing attacks even before summer 2020 was out – with the UK, Canada and Switzerland the countries most seriously affected. Unfortunately, it looks like an array of cybersecurity struggles could continue for many firms well into 2021. 

Do SMBs face very particular cybersecurity problems? 

The research firm Gartner defines an SMB – a small and midsize business – as “a business that, due to its size, has different IT requirements – and often faces different IT challenges – than do large enterprises, and whose IT resources (usually budget and staff) are often highly constrained.”

While Gartner – for the purposes of its research – defines SMBs on account of their annual revenue and employee numbers, it’s fair to say that many different companies could easily fall under the SMB category. 

Gartner acknowledges that small businesses are often classed as firms with fewer than 100 employees and $50 million in annual revenue and midsize businesses as firms with 100 to 999 employees and annual revenue exceeding $50 million but less than $1 billion. 

Making sure all of a company’s endpoints are secured  

The Cybersecurity Practices SMBs Must Urgently Prioritize in 2021 - 1

In a survey mentioned by CSO in December, 70% of organizations said they expected at least a third of their remote workers to still be working remotely in 18 months’ time. So, companies should be wary if they have not yet reconsidered security measures they originally took assuming remote working would be temporary. 

Unfortunately, as many members of the global workforce switched to working from home, this move would have thrown up an array of newly remote endpoints that companies’ security teams will need to ensure stay protected from various cyber threats – including phishing, malware and man-in-the-middle attacks. 

Therefore, SMBs should be careful to invest in cybersecurity software that protects all of their endpoints – including those on devices that employees use but remain beyond the control of the company itself. The chosen software should provide multi-level cloud and endpoint security. 

It’s essential for companies to streamline the way they review access permissions for internal systems and ensure appropriate user access. Enforcing the principle of least privilege by closely aligning access rights and access policy can result in lower total risk to the organization.

Investing in zero trust, access controls and the cloud 

Security leaders are also concerned about nation-states and proxies posing threats – both direct and indirect – to organizations. In one survey, 73% of respondents expressed their belief that, in 2021, nation-state sponsored attacks were the single biggest threat to organizations such as theirs. 

The raft of security risks sparked by the pandemic has led companies to investigate possibly piloting or implementing several technologies in 2021. In research company IDG’s Security Priorities Survey, 40% of respondents said they were drawn to zero trust, 27% to access controls and 22% to cloud-based security. 

Wandera’s Zero Trust Network Access solution is one cybersecurity service that falls into all three of these categories and so would enable many SMBs to meet a wide range of cybersecurity priorities they have set for 2021.