May 8, 2024 - Axios Events

Axios Event: Small businesses face increased cybersecurity threat landscape

Attendees enjoyed dinner during the intimate roundtable discussion. Credit: Chris Constantine for Axios

Attendees enjoyed dinner during the intimate roundtable discussion. Credit: Chris Constantine for Axios

SAN FRANCISCO – Cybersecurity threats are increasingly targeting a wider range of vulnerable entities that span across industries and vary in size, and some are much better positioned to respond than others.

Why it matters: Small and medium-sized companies who aren't able to dedicate funding and staff to focus on cybersecurity face a much more severe cyber threat landscape than larger businesses with more resources do.

  • Axios cybersecurity reporter Sam Sabin and chief technology correspondent Ina Fried moderated this roundtable discussion event, which was sponsored by At-Bay.

What they're saying: "I think that these types of threats are now, it's asymmetric warfare, so it's not just targeting governments, it's not just targeting government institutions, and I don't think that we are necessarily super well-equipped to be able to respond to that in a meaningful way," said Alethea CEO and founder Lisa Kaplan.

  • "I think that a lot of times what's happening is the adversary has gotten better at exploiting the fault lines that exist between private sector, government, [and] civil society," Kaplan continued.

Akamai chief security officer Boaz Gelbord said cybersecurity challenges for small and medium-sized companies are only getting worse because many of them don't have staff or resources to monitor and fend off threats.

  • "I think one of the biggest challenging parts for SMBs is there's really a divide between kind of digital haves and have-nots," Gelbord said.
  • "They don't have IT staff, they don't do this stuff," Cyber Readiness Institute managing director Karen Evans said.
  • "At this point, I'm not worried about our 100, 200 largest members," National Retail Federation vice president of retail technology and cybersecurity Christian Beckner said.
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