American SMBs Fear Cyber-Attacks from Foreign Countries

American SMBs Fear Cyber-Attacks from Foreign Countries

Almost all small and medium-sized businesses in America have executives who are living in fear of a cyber-attack from foreign adversaries, according to new research published today.

The Q4 Cyberthreat Index for Business Survey by Zix-AppRiver found that 93% of SMB executives believe that as foreign adversaries attempt to breach national security or wage cyber-war, they will use small businesses such as their own as entry points. Two-thirds expect this threat to be more severe in 2020, when the next presidential election will take place.

To better protect their businesses from the evil machinations of threat actors, 62% of American SMB executives plan to increase their cybersecurity budgets in the coming year.

Among the list of cybersecurity upgrades executives would like to make, their highest priorities were employing more cybersecurity technology (58%), creating better security awareness training for their employees (57%), and conducting more regular reviews of their existing security defenses (50%). 

These findings are in line with other key results from the survey, which indicate that only 43% of all SMB executives currently feel in control and confident in their own cyber-preparedness. 

"In 2019, we saw cyberattacks on our government trickle down from large agencies to smaller local municipalities and schools. That follows the pattern we’ve seen in business, where attacks have expanded from big corporations to small and medium-sized businesses," said Zix CEO Dave Wagner.

"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 the first step ..