By George Lattimore Posted January 19, 2019
Small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are viewed at large as the growth engine for the industries around them, and as such, are often called “the backbone of the economy.” SMBs generally drive where innovation starts these days, and they are often the service providers that enable their local economies. As SMBs increasingly leverage technology to harness efficiencies and scale, the question of how to securely manage all of these IT resources emerges. In this article, we’ll discuss why cloud identity management for SMBs can be a catalyst for innovation and efficiency.
SMBs as the Innovators
Historically, from the earliest days of the IT revolution, SMBs have been categorized as followers when it came to technology. Because the cost of acquiring and implementing innovative technology was painstakingly high, SMBs were shut out from receiving the benefits; they simply couldn’t afford access to mainframes and the earliest PCs. However, along with the decreasing costs of technology, better training for the workforce, and valuable applications and tools aimed at small and medium-sized businesses, that equation has since completely changed.
Now, thanks to cloud infrastructure and web applications, SMBs are often the innovators and large enterprises are the laggards. For over a decade, this shift in how organizations consume technology has globally propelled economies. However, the downside to this shift in accessing technology and cloud solutions has become painfully obvious: security is suffering.
Increasing Security Risks
Today, more than at any other time before, SMBs are at risk of becoming victims of cyber crime, fraud, and online harassment. Cyber criminals have picked up on the trends, and know good and well that SMBs are aggressively leveraging technology. They also realize that SMBs are short-staffed and often unaware of all of the various technology risks that can undercut their business. The result is that SMBs are being compromised at disproportionate levels.
According to the NetDiligence 2018 Cyber Claims Study, around 85% of the cyber insurance claims submitted from 2013 to 2017 came by smaller organizations. Of the 1,201 claims that were analyzed in the study, the average total cost of a breach was $603.9k. Hackers accounted for 21% of the claims, while ransomware was 15%, malware/viruses were 11%, and lost/stolen devices made up 9%.
Data Protection with Cloud Identity Management Tools
To be clear, the number one attack vector for hackers is user identities. Why? Identities are the easiest path through the maze of security that can surface in even the most sophisticated SMBs. Unsuspecting end users at SMBs are often the targets of phishing attempts, stolen equipment, malware, and more, as they fail to realize the underlying risks that stem from acting on unchecked curiosity and convenience. Along with basic security tools such as anti-virus, firewalls, and strong end user training, a cloud identity management solution can reduce the risk of compromised identities.
As a central identity and access control mechanism, IT organizations or MSPs that manage SMB networks can tightly control and secure identities and their access to systems, servers, applications, file servers, and networks. With features such as password complexity management, multi-factor authentication (MFA), SSH key management, and more, SMBs can dramatically step-up their security game while getting the benefits of shifting to cloud technology.
Explore More on Why Cloud Identity Management for SMBs Matters
If you’re interested in understanding more about cloud identity management for SMBs, you’re more than welcome talk with a security expert, free of charge. If you’d like to keep exploring more resources to understand why cloud identity management for SMBs is important, check out this report for more details.