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SMEs in SA: Sacrifice Today for Survival


The Unholy Trinity of SMEs: Vulnerability, Negligence, and Disaster

As the world teeters on the brink of chaos, one sector stands out as a ticking time bomb: Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs). These businesses, often touted as the backbone of the economy, are actually a breeding ground for cyber attacks, negligence, and disaster.

The SME Conundrum

In South Africa, a staggering 90% of all businesses are classified as SMEs, employing 50% to 60% of the workforce and contributing a whopping 34% to the GDP. But despite their significance, SMEs are woefully unprepared for the cyber threats that lurk in the shadows.

The Anatomy of a Disaster

A study by the Small Business Institute reveals that 80% of small businesses fail within the first five years, largely due to issues such as lack of access to tools and technology, skills deficit, market access, and lack of funding. But the real kicker? Cyber attacks are often the final nail in the coffin.

The Managed Services Conundrum

Forbes lists various reasons why SMEs should consider working with a Managed Services Provider (MSP). But let’s be real, the real reason is that SMEs are too cash-strapped to hire in-house IT teams. And even if they could, they’d still be vulnerable to the insider threat.

The Insider Threat

A whopping 47% of SMEs allow end-users to re-use passwords across personal and professional accounts. 29% rely on human memory for storing passwords. And 15% use no tools whatsoever to protect or manage passwords. It’s a ticking time bomb waiting to go off.

The Real Risks

Malware, phishing attempts, and ransomware are just a few of the many ways cyber criminals can exploit SMEs. And with the average cost of a data breach hovering around $3.92 million, it’s a risk that’s not worth taking.

The Solution

MSPs can deliver streamlined and cost-effective security measures, globally-competitive knowledge, and technical skills without the headache and cost of hiring in-house. It’s a no-brainer for SMEs looking to stay ahead of the curve.

The Future

As the world becomes increasingly digital, SMEs must adapt or perish. But with the right guidance and technology, they can thrive. In my next article, I’ll explore how technology can be a major driver of a company’s sustainability, as it strives to turn into a desirable investment acquisition for potential buyers when wanting out.



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