SMBs face costs of up to $2.5 million after a data breach

According to a security report released by Cisco yesterday, SMBs can face costs of up to $2.5 million after experiencing a data breach. That might not sound like a lot of money to a large Fortune 500 company but for a mid-market company, it could be devastating. The study also shows that 53 percent of midmarket companies (n=1816) have experienced a data breach – a significant sample size of companies with 1-499 employees.

Executives responsible and accountable for security at midmarket businesses. (Click to enlarge).

What’s more interesting, however, are the sections of the report detailing how organizations are addressing the cyber security problems they are faced with. For example, the study shows that 92 percent of midmarket businesses have an executive responsible or accountable for security. Of these executives, the Chief Information Security Officer, Chief Security Officer, and Chief Executive Officer are anointed as the security champion comprising 42%, 24%, and 10%, respectively.

Midmarket has something in common with larger counterparts: a shortage of IT staff hindering the ability to shore up defenses. According to the Cisco report:

There simply aren’t enough people in-house to manage tools that could improve security, according to Cisco’s research. For that reason, many small/midmarket businesses look to outsourced assistance to gather the talent they need to increase their knowledge of threats, save money, and respond to breaches more quickly.

Midmarket businesses use outsourced help to overcome the lack of internal resources. (Click to enlarge).

The study cites “the desire for unbiased insight was the most common reason” given by midmarket businesses for outsourcing their security tasks, followed by cost-effectiveness, and the need to respond to security incidents promptly.

In fact, the study found that roughly 46 percent of alerts are not investigated and, of those that are, only 37 percent are legitimate threats.

This is one of the main reasons we founded LEO Cyber Security and built the LEO Security Operations Stack – a SecOps platform enabling visibility to networks along with compromise prevention, detection, and response capabilities for hosts, networks, and cloud.

Midmarket businesses outsource advice and consulting as well as incident response. (Click to enlarge).

Looking back at the Cisco report, respondents state that they continue to rely on partners to deliver Outsourced advice and consulting services (57 percent), Incident response (54 percent), and Security monitoring (51 percent).

Outsourcing cyber security help is a good way for businesses to make the most of limited resources but responsible surfacing of threats, monitoring the efficacy of the security program, and providing cyber advisory services is just as important (if not more important) than pushing alerts to a third-party provider to watch on your behalf.

This is why LEO Cyber Security provides world-class CISOs and other cyber experts to supplement your company’s security department on a fractional, virtual, or “as-needed” basis. With our focus on the midmarket space, we understand the challenges your organization faces and can bring to bear the top minds in the cyber security industry to help address them.

We encourage you to read the full Cisco report and reach out to us should you have any questions about implementing any of the recommendations detailed therein.



Andrew Hay is an information security industry veteran with close to 20 years of experience as a security practitioner, industry analyst, and executive. As the Co-Founder & Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for LEO Cyber Security, he is a member of the senior executive leadership team responsible for the creation and driving of the strategic vision for the company. One of his primary responsibilities is the development and delivery of the company’s comprehensive cyber security, digital forensics, incident response, cloud architecture, and advanced research centers of excellence.


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