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|Zix-AppRiver Survey: Small Businesses Believe They Will Be Targets of Cyberattacks by Foreign Adversaries in 2020|
|Posted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 11:16:00 AM|
New research from Zix-AppRiver highlights small and midsize businesses’ concerns over increased cyberattacks by nation-states; reveals how they plan to improve their security posture in the next year
GULF BREEZE, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 3, 2019-- AppRiver, a Zix (NASDAQ: ZIXI) company and leading channel-first provider of security, productivity and compliance solutions, today announced the findings of its Q4 Cyberthreat Index for Business Survey, uncovering the top cybersecurity concerns and mitigation strategies among small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) as they move into 2020.
With cybersecurity concerns already mounting ahead of the 2020 presidential election, SMB executives are turning their attention to how these threats could impact their own business. According to the survey, 93 percent believe that as foreign adversaries attempt to breach national security or wage cyberwar, they will use small businesses such as their own as entry points. Among them, two thirds expect this threat to become even more severe.
“In 2019, we saw cyberattacks on our government trickle down from large agencies to smaller local municipalities and schools,” said Dave Wagner, CEO, Zix. “That follows the pattern we’ve seen in business, where attacks have expanded from big corporations to small- and medium-sized businesses. While these attacks can originate from anywhere, the survey data shows that SMBs believe foreign actors and even nation-states may be targeting them as a first step toward access to larger companies or government agencies.”
This, among other cybersecurity concerns, could be a possible driver behind SMBs’ plan to shore up their security investment and defenses in 2020. Sixty-two percent of all SMBs plan to increase their cybersecurity budgets in 2020. Among the list of cybersecurity upgrades they’d like to make, their highest priorities include employing more cybersecurity technology (58 percent), creating better security awareness training for their employees (57 percent) and conducting more regular reviews of their security defenses (50 percent). These findings are in line with other key results from the survey, which indicate that only 43 percent of all SMBs currently feel in-control and confident in their own cyber preparedness.
SMBs within the government and technology sectors are among those most concerned about nation-state cyberattacks on their business in 2020. Executives within these industries also have the highest propensity to increase their cybersecurity budgets in 2020, with 77 percent of technology SMBs and 76 percent government SMBs planning to increase their budgets in the coming year.
“It seems unusual that small and midsize companies are concerned about foreign powers, but with elections coming up in 2020, they have legitimate reasons to worry about becoming vulnerable entry points for outside entities,” said Troy Gill, senior cybersecurity analyst at AppRiver. “The silver lining is that they are actively planning to improve their security with new technology and better training for employees, which together, are a powerful combination.”