Singapore – The onset of the global pandemic has pushed former brick-and-mortar businesses to the digital realm, and with this,small and medium businesses (SMBs) saw the need to implement their own cybersecurity measures, as well as setting their own digitalization roadmap,
According to new insights from global technology company Cisco, about 94% of SMBs in the APAC region have implemented at least some sort of cybersecurity measure, while 90% revealed that they have also implemented a digitalization roadmap for their business to follow.
In terms of the implementation of the said roadmaps, 65% of APAC SMBs have implemented them, while 50% have deployed them.
Part of the growing trend of APAC SMBs realizing these digital strategies are fears over cybersecurity flaws in their business systems, with 56% of business respondents admitting that they have fallen victim to one of the many cybersecurity threats such as email phishing and malware attack, which clocked at 85% of the threats most of these businesses experienced.
With these fears in hand, about 62% of respondents have said that a cyber incident had disrupted their operations and 61% noting that it resulted in a loss of revenue. In addition, 57% saw a loss of trust with customers, while 66% said that a cyber incident affected the company’s reputation negatively.
“It is not a surprise that three quarters of SMBs said they are more concerned about cybersecurity today than they were 12 months ago. This is significant. But it is also encouraging because it demonstrates increased levels of awareness of cyber risk among SMBs,” Cisco said in their report.
As the large number of APAC SMB respondents have noted the consequences of cyber attacks, more and more of these institutions are now setting aside investment and budget for their cybersecurity and digitalization measures, with 63% of SMBs in the APAC region spend at least 4% of annual revenue on cybersecurity on average, with 30% of businesses spending at least 6% of their annual revenue, and 9% spending over 10%.
In terms of challenges, SMBs said keeping pace with continually evolving technologies and security requirements (77%); keeping pace with constantly evolving cyber threats (76%); challenges with engaging employees around responsibilities (75%); too much complexity in the industry (75%); and the ability to recruit (73%) are the top barriers they face to increasing cybersecurity resilience.
“The growing maturity in SMBs’ understanding of cybersecurity is perhaps best highlighted by the fact that they are looking at preparedness holistically. However, even with investments in solutions, talent, and training, SMBs do find themselves at the wrong end of a cyber attack. It’s just the nature of the industry,” Cisco explained.
The report added, “With a growing understanding of the potential impacts of a cyber incident on business, and increased legal implications, SMBs are turning towards cybersecurity insurance as a key investment area. This provides them with a cover to cushion the financial impact any such incident might have on their business.”