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Techaisle Blog

Insightful research, flexible data, and deep analysis by a global SMB IT Market Research and Industry Analyst organization dedicated to tracking the Future of SMBs and Channels.

Zero Trust Adoption in the SMB and Midmarket: Drivers, Challenges, and Partner Ecosystem

Zero Trust (ZT) is a concept that, while not universally recognized, holds significant relevance in many organizations, particularly within the mid-market sector. Techaisle’s SMB and Midmarket Security Adoption Trends research shows that Its awareness is relatively low in the small business segment, with a mere 8% familiarity. However, this awareness escalates within larger organizations, reaching 46% in core midmarket businesses (100-999 employees) and 69% in upper midmarket businesses (1000-4999 employees). This trend intensifies when examining the perceived importance of ZT among those aware of it. Only 29% of small businesses regard ZT as more than “moderately important,” whereas a staggering 90% of core midmarket and 93% of upper midmarket firms deem Zero Trust as “important” or “very important.”

About 30% of upper midmarket organizations are engaged in Zero Trust (ZT) access projects. In contrast, 45% of small businesses, compared to a mere 1%-2% of midmarket firms, have no immediate plans to implement ZT access. The data reveals that a significant number of businesses have initiated the deployment of ZT access solutions: 86% of upper midmarket firms, 69% of core midmarket organizations, and 42% of small businesses.

techaisle smb midmarket zero trust

Balancing Immediate Needs with Proactive Planning: Zero Trust Drivers for Different SMB Segments

Cutting-edge midmarket companies are embracing a variety of adoption drivers in response to Zero Trust’s (ZT) capabilities. These capabilities resonate with executives addressing immediate needs, adapting to alterations in their IT landscapes, and proactively forecasting future demands. As with most business decisions, leadership teams carve out paths to success that align best with corporate requirements. ZT stands out for its unique ability to cater to a spectrum, or even a blend, of diverse motivations.

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2024 Top 10 SMB and Midmarket Predictions

In 2021, we predicted that AI would permeate small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and midmarket firms, not as an independent solution but as an integral feature within other products. As SMBs fully comprehend the inherent nature of AI, they will increasingly seek AI-powered solutions to prescribe actions that mitigate risks and enhance decision-making, business agility, and innovation proactively.

We also predicted that AI technology would evolve so rapidly that by the time SMBs become comfortable with data-driven decision-making, AI would be executing decisions that might be beyond the comprehension of business executives. The challenge with AI would shift from trusting data over intuition to trusting AI when insights into its decision-making process are not readily available in the cloud applications used by SMBs and midmarket firms. We expect this trend to continue into 2024.

After surveying over 3000 SMBs and midmarket firms, Techaisle has announced its top 10 SMB and midmarket predictions for 2024. There is intense market pressure on SMB and midmarket executives to deliver tangible progress towards – and benefits from – application innovation and digital business. At least some of this results from a worldwide fascination with Generative AI and its anticipated potential to transform nearly any function it might apply to. Gen-AI offers significant potential for SMBs and midmarket firms to enhance their operations and drive innovation. By leveraging this technology effectively, these businesses can improve efficiency, productivity, and customer satisfaction.

techaisle 2024 top10 smb midmarket predictions

In 2024, SMBs and Midmarket business and technology leaders will maintain a practical perspective as they move into the digital future powered by AI. SMBs will invest in AI-infused, AI-embedded, tailor-made technology solutions to streamline operations and expand their customer base. To improve manageability, reduce complexity, and limit sprawl, pragmatism will overtake progressiveness. Technology choice and deployment complexity will create purchase inertia, empowering SMBs to seek suppliers capable of supporting a roadmap from the current state to a future-ready organization. SMBs will look for proof points in AI solutions that deliver tangible benefits within their environment. SMBs will adjust their own pricing strategies and implement cost-control measures. Labor shortages will prompt them to invest in employee training and retention initiatives to ensure smooth operations and efficiency. Additionally, SMBs will opt for proactive supply chain management and diversification strategies to minimize disruptions and exploit growth opportunities.

Here are Techaisle’s top 10 SMB and Midmarket predictions for 2024.

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Techaisle Study Finds Cybersecurity Breaches Cost SMBs and Midmarket Firms Millions

According to a survey of 2035 businesses conducted by Techaisle, cybersecurity breaches cost SMBs (1-999 employees) an average of US$1.2 million in data, productivity, compliance and regulatory expenses, and staffing costs. In contrast, upper-midmarket firms (1000-4999 employees) suffered an average loss of US$28.6 million. The research also revealed that 56% of SMBs and 88% of upper midmarket firms experienced at least one cyberattack in the past year.

SMBs and midmarket firms recognize that a security breach can have significant business implications. When asked about the potential impact of a breach, 54% of firms stated that it would damage their customers’ privacy, 49% believed it would erode customer trust in their business, and 44% saw it as damaging to their company’s reputation. Nearly one-quarter reported that a breach would have a substantial negative impact on their bottom line. Security is not just an issue but also a critical factor in defending against threats to trust, compliance, and financial viability.

Security is a critical concern for SMBs and midmarket firms. While technology is essential for productivity, growth, and profitability, it also exposes businesses to potentially devastating security breaches. Many SMB firms practice “security through obscurity,” hoping that attacks will target larger organizations while they keep a low profile. However, with enough hackers, scammers, and cybercriminals to go around, every conscientious SMB executive must address security threats and take action to safeguard their business against other threats, such as loss of customer trust, compliance with laws and regulations, and loss of financial solvency.

Techaisle survey indicates that SMBs have IT security on their agendas, with 85% of SMBs and 100% of upper midmarket firms considering it a critical concern. A closer look at the findings shows that other important issues for SMBs, such as cloud and hybrid work, cannot be implemented without an effective security approach.

techaisle smb midmarket security breach impact

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Mid-Market Firms Get a Boost in Cybersecurity with Dell’s Latest Portfolio Enhancements

Dell’s recent enhancements to its security portfolio address midmarket companies' specific security concerns and goals. Dell has significantly expanded its security portfolio with in-house capabilities and partnerships to enhance its threat protection, management, and incident response capabilities. The company’s new additions are crucial in addressing mid-market businesses' security challenges. According to Techaisle data, cybersecurity prevention investments are the highest technology priority for core and upper midmarket firms. With an average spending increase of 8.6%, 64% of midmarket firms are boosting their investments in cybersecurity solutions. The main reason for this spending increase is advanced threats and the rise of remote working, as reported by 61% of firms. In today's digital environment, cyberattacks are becoming increasingly prevalent and sophisticated, posing a threat to companies of all sizes. The traditional approach to security revolved around building higher cyber walls, hoping that no one would cross them. However, in the last ten years, attackers have found ways to breach these walls, making it necessary to have preventive strategies in place. Businesses must therefore prepare for the possibility of breaches and their potential impacts. Consequently, they must have a comprehensive security portfolio that offers end-to-end protection – from detecting and preventing threats to minimizing the damage in the event of a breach and helping users recover their data.

Mid-market enterprises are particularly susceptible to cyberattacks due to their limited resources compared to larger organizations. They face the same challenges as their larger counterparts but require more resources to defend themselves. To address these challenges, mid-market businesses need a security portfolio that can protect their operations from cyberattacks and minimize the risk of financial and reputational damage, especially as cyber threats become increasingly sophisticated. This article examines how recent updates to Dell’s security solutions portfolio can help mid-market businesses navigate the evolving threat landscape and enhance their protection capabilities.

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