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Can Small Business Security Holes Hurt Enterprises?

A while back, Computer World published an article that businesses of all sizes should really pay attention to: “Enterprise CIOs, think it’s OK to Ignore SMB Security Holes? Think Again.”

The article covers the topic of how cyber security holes in small business partners that are part of an enterprise company’s supply chain can be a potential source of data breaches that harm the larger company.

How SMB Security Holes Can Hurt Enterprises

As the old saying goes, “any chain is only as strong as its weakest link.” In the article, the security holes present in small businesses are the proverbial weakest link that CIOs and other IT specialists in an enterprise have to worry about.

In the Computer World article, it’s noted that “a company is subject to getting burned by the security problems of any company with which it shares a supply-chain. An e-tailer, for example, can get hurt by viruses or a Trojan horse that infected a delivery service.”

Basically, the smaller company, once compromised, can act as a channel for getting hackers and malware past the defenses of the larger company. Or, sensitive data about the enterprise company (such as financial accounts and access info for billing) on the smaller business’ infrastructure can become compromised.

In short, small business security holes can hurt enterprises.

Preventing Security Breaches for Enterprises

While fully controlling the security of every small business partner an enterprise company has isn’t always possible, there are ways for enterprises to limit their exposure.

For example, the Computer World article tells enterprises to “do spot checks and to let all partners know when you’ve caught—and terminated—one of their fellow partners.” The idea is to encourage small business partners to tighten security by making an example of those who don’t.

Alternatively, employing multilayered cybersecurity that employs separate firewalls for each host system, app, and tenant on your IT infrastructure as well as data-at-rest encryption can keep Trojan viruses and other malware piggybacking off of traffic from a small business partner and gaining access to your data. Keeping your infrastructure securely segmented is a very basic, but effective, means of limiting damage from an internal attack.

This method strengthens internal security for enterprises, but any data stored with the SMB partner remains at-risk.

How Small Businesses Can Boost Cyber Security

The potential damage that an attack against a small business can do to their enterprise partners is enough to make any large enterprise company wary of giving access credentials to a smaller company.

However, this can be a great opportunity for small businesses to differentiate themselves to bigger companies as a potential partner. Why? Because, a small business with access to a secure business infrastructure limits its security vulnerabilities and exposures, making it a more attractive business partner and less of a potential liability compared to other small businesses.

Since building a secure IT infrastructure in-house is prohibitively expensive for even large businesses, one of the best ways for a small business to get a secure infrastructure is to use a premium cloud service provider such as

All cloud environments come standard with multi-layered security designed to maximize data safety on the cloud. With strong cyber security measures in place, small businesses can position themselves as strong, safe business partners to big Fortune 500 companies.

Learn more about how protects your company’s most sensitive and mission-critical data today!