Guard Your Small Business: Debunking five common myths about small business security and the actions you can take for protection today

This JumpStart blog guest post is provided by Dr. Christine Izuakor, CEO and Founder of Cyber Pop-up, an on-demand cybersecurity service platform powered by vetted and highly skilled cyber freelancers. Dr. Izuakor is also the author of the “Ultimate Guide to Building a Career in Cybersecurity” available now on Amazon.

What small business owners don’t know about cybersecurity can set them up for sudden failure versus sustainable success. Let’s review five cyber security misconceptions that can harm your SMB and ways to get ahead of cyberthreats.


Myth #1: I don’t have the resources to build a cybersecurity program.

Limited resources, unlimited consequences
Many small businesses are challenged by not having the human or financial resources to build a cybersecurity program. Unfortunately, this excuse no longer works in today’s digital age as everyone, from large enterprises to federal agencies, has learned of the grave risks SMBs can introduce to the economy. Consider spending 7-20% toward a cyber security budget to reduce your cyber risk.


Myth #2: My Managed Service Provider(MSP) already makes sure I’m secure.

False sense of security from tech providers
As we hear from SMBs, another common misconception is “I already subscribe to a tech provider or MSP that manages my security”. There may be gaps in the security covered by the MSP. For example, just because an MSP ensures that you have anti-virus and up-to-date patches on your system, doesn’t mean that all of your security issues are taken care of. This false sense of security often leads to cracks attackers can exploit and can be the downfall of a company.


Myth #3: Attackers don’t care about my company, I don’t have anything they want.

SMBs are attractive low-hanging fruit
Attackers usually target companies or individuals in one of two ways. 1.) Cast a wide net on easy targets and see who falls 2.) Go after very big targets with elaborate strategies.

In either case, SMBs play a role in their success. In option one, the logic is that instead of spending the time trying to break into one large enterprise with security controls that may rival Fort Knox, they target 1,000 SMBs that have little to no security set up and see what sticks. It’s an economical business model. Let’s take ransomware for example. An attacker can target one large company and get a $1M payout (low chance of success, high reward) or target 1,000 SMBs and get several $100k payouts (higher chance of success, higher reward).


Myth #4: The chances I’ll be attacked are low, and I’m in survival mode. I can deal with cybersecurity later.

Outsized consequences with slim chances of survival
When large enterprises experience a breach, they take a brand reputation hit, incur fines and penalties, and sometimes pay millions of dollars in damages and repairs. While this is a lot of money, it’s usually just a small ding to the organization which will very likely bounce back. However, the same cannot be said for SMBs.

More than 60% of SMBs that are breached end up shutting down due to the cost to recover. SMBs are operating in the same arena as large businesses and facing the same threat actors. However, their punch is a debilitating knockout vs. a small blow large enterprises can take with ease.


Myth #5: I can rely on my technology vendors for compliance with regulations.

Regulators have little mercy on SMBs

When regulators pass requirements SMBs are included in the scope. Though regulators also have requirements for technology vendors, there are separate and sometimes unique requirements that apply to SMBs. We’ve seen many cases where it doesn’t matter if you are a one-person company or have 10,000 employees, you are held to the same standard. This puts SMBs in the tough spot of trying to comply with the same hefty regulations Fortune 500 companies face, without the same Fortune 500 cyber teams in-house or resources to ensure compliance.

How can you take Action?

  • Cybersecurity doesn’t have to break the bank; there are many free and low-cost resources available. You may benefit from fractional cyber expertise.
  • Implement security technologies like firewalls, antivirus software, and encryption to protect against cyber threats.
  • Foster a culture of cybersecurity awareness. Train employees regularly to ensure everyone understands the importance of recognizing and reporting potential security risks.
  • Adhere to relevant compliance standards such as GDPR, HIPAA, PCI DSS, or industry-specific regulations. Conduct regular audits and assessments to verify compliance.
  • Combine cyber insurance with proactive security measures. This includes conducting regular risk assessments and staying informed about policy limitations. Continuously update your cybersecurity strategy. Be aware that cyber insurance is not a guarantee against all cyber threats, and relying solely on it can leave gaps in your overall cybersecurity strategy.


Remember, cybersecurity is a collective effort involving every member of your organization! If you are a qualifying JumpStart client you may be eligible for complimentary cybersecurity services with Cyber Pop-up. Visit to to learn more or schedule a free cyber expert consultation.

For more from Dr. Christine Izuakor, watch the recording of our insightful webinar below, exploring  the world of cybersecurity specifically tailored for small businesses.