SMEs Need to Implement CyberSecurity Measures

By Steven Galvin - Last update

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Recent research conducted by iReach Insights on behalf of Google has found that SMEs need to implement cybersecurity measures.  Despite the fact that  Irish SMEs are increasingly aware of the importance of a secure online presence, a significant number of businesses are failing to implement fundamental cybersecurity measures.

Recent statistics reveal concerning trends in password management, security awareness training, incident response planning, and the management of cybersecurity within SMEs. 

Surprisingly, less than half of Irish SMEs (44%) require their employees to periodically change passwords, a practice considered essential in maintaining robust cybersecurity. Similarly, only 38% of SMEs provide regular or annual security awareness training to their staff, leaving employees ill-prepared to detect and respond to potential cyber threats. This lack of proactive measures increases the vulnerability of businesses to cyberattacks.

SMEs Need to Implement Cybersecurity Measures

An alarming 28% of Irish SMEs lack an incident response plan, a crucial component in mitigating the impact of cyberattacks. Without a well-defined strategy in place, businesses risk prolonged downtime, financial losses, and damage to their reputation. It is imperative for SMEs to prioritize the development and implementation of incident response plans to swiftly and effectively handle cybersecurity incidents.

When it comes to managing cybersecurity, the statistics reveal a diverse range of approaches among Irish SMEs. Approximately 38% of businesses choose to handle cybersecurity in-house, 25% outsource it to external service providers, while 37% adopt a hybrid model that combines both in-house and outsourced management.

Interestingly, SMEs that manage cybersecurity in-house express the highest levels of satisfaction, with 70% reporting contentment with their current approach. This suggests that having direct control over cybersecurity operations brings a sense of reassurance and confidence to these businesses.

On the other hand, SMEs employing a combination of in-house and outsourced cybersecurity management exhibit the lowest satisfaction levels at 53%. This finding indicates that the hybrid model may introduce challenges in maintaining consistent cybersecurity practices, potentially leading to gaps in protection and reduced satisfaction among business owners.

The findings of this study highlight critical deficiencies in cybersecurity practices among Irish SMEs. The low rates of password changes, security awareness training, and incident response planning demonstrate a lack of awareness or prioritization of cybersecurity risks. Moreover, the mixed satisfaction levels across different cybersecurity management approaches indicate the need for a comprehensive evaluation of strategies and a focus on improving consistency and effectiveness.

To safeguard their businesses, Irish SMEs must recognize the urgency of implementing robust cybersecurity measures. By prioritizing regular password changes, investing in security awareness training, developing incident response plans, and ensuring consistent and effective cybersecurity management, SMEs can significantly enhance their resilience against cyber threats and protect their digital assets, reputation, and customers.

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Steven Galvin

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