How to Build a Strong Security Architecture for Small and Medium Businesses: Checklist Included

Protecting your organization from modern cyber threats can feel like building a house of cards, with dozens of pieces that fit together in the loosest way, and always at risk of tumbling down in spectacular fashion. There was a time not too many years ago when an IT manager could solve their cybersecurity challenges with good antivirus software and a firewall. Sadly, those days are long behind us, as today’s threats are more stealthy and sophisticated than ever before.

A small or mid-sized business might be tempted to assume that they have little of value, and that today’s threat actors are targeting much larger fish, but that would be a massive mistake. Modern attackers participate in a global cybercrime ecosystem, where a great deal of the complexity of executing an attack is automated and pre-packaged in a way that dramatically reduces the cost to execute an attack. In this world, hacking becomes a numbers game, and even small-sized businesses can be profitable targets. In fact, 43% of all data breaches happen to small and medium businesses, and inflict sufficient damage that 60% of breached SMBs go out of business.

At the same time that threats have become more prevalent, the digital landscape that needs protecting has exploded. The broad adoption of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications and the shift to remote work means that many of the users, systems, and data that used to be comfortably protected inside the company’s network are now spread to every corner of the world. 

Compounding the problem yet again, the cybersecurity industry hasn’t made the defender’s job easy. On the plus side, never before have we had so many new and innovative solutions for preventing, detecting, and responding to threats. Unfortunately, for an IT manager who wears a dozen different hats on any given day, it’s nearly impossible to sort through all the possibilities and identify the sweet spot: the right set of defenses to get the job done, in a way that’s manageable for a small team. 

And so we come to the stack of cards, looking to build a solid basic set of defenses that don’t tip over at the slightest breeze. Fortunately, you can build a highly serviceable house with only a few building blocks. 

Read more and download the actionable security architecture checklist below: 

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