by Tim Mullahy, Liberty Center One
In 2016, 14 million small businesses were hacked. It’s a statistic that speaks to a disturbing trend in the digital underworld – criminals have realized how much effort it takes to hack major enterprises. And in many cases, that effort doesn’t lead to a guaranteed payoff.
Small and mid-sized businesses are much easier targets. A major corporation is likely to have a massive security budget, with custom-built infrastructure and a skilled team of IT professionals. It can easily afford advanced penetration testing, and in the event that its data winds up in the wrong hands, the business has the resources to respond.
Contrast that to a small startup or a mom-and-pop store. Small organizations are likelier to be blind to the risks they face from criminals, and many small business owners don’t believe it’s possible that they could be a target – they falsely believe that they aren’t worth the effort. Worse still, most small businesses don’t even have a single IT professional on staff, let alone a full department.
Historically, this has contributed to a dangerous culture of ignorance within the SME world. In a recent survey by Mantra Security, for example, 87% of small business owners said they did not feel at risk of a breach. Only 69%, meanwhile, have controls in place to prevent hacks – meaning that almost a third of them don’t bother with security at all.
Thanks to the cloud, this may soon change.
According to Gartner, the cloud security market is slated to hit $9 billion by 2020 – up from $5.9 billion this year. This growth, the analyst notes, is primarily being driven by small and mid-sized businesses. Aware of the threat posed to them by criminals, they seek a means to bring their security in-line with that at a larger organization.
The cloud provides them with a means by which they can do so. As a result, we’re seeing it rapidly expand to encompass every facet of enterprise security. That includes threat intelligence, sandboxing and app containerization, encryption, firewalls, application management, and endpoint management.
And all this is available at a fraction of what it would ordinarily cost.
“The cloud medium is a natural fit for the needs of SMBs,” explains Ruggero Contu, Research Director at Gartner. “Its ease of deployment and management, pay-as-you consume pricing, and simplified features make this delivery model attractive for organizations that lack staffing resources.”
The cloud security market is not without its growing pains, however. Traditional, product-driven business models are fading fast in the security space, as more and more businesses switch to cloud-supported, service-based delivery models.
“Migration to the cloud is happening,” writes Michael Santarcangelo of CSO. “Security leaders have a choice. We can lead the way or get left behind. When we embrace the potential, it turns out the cloud acts as a forcing function to help drive change.”
And by embracing that change, you can make your organization more secure – no matter its size.
Tim Mullahy is the General Manager at Liberty Center One, a new breed of data center located in Royal Oak, MI.