HomeInsightsEnhancing SME cybersecurity: an opportunity for CSPs to grasp 

    Enhancing SME cybersecurity: an opportunity for CSPs to grasp 


    Sponsored: Any CSP can offer their small business customers cybersecurity protection services based on a network native software solution

    There is no doubt that small businesses are increasingly becoming targets for cybercriminals. The ever-evolving threat landscape poses significant risks to their operations, data, reputation and revenue generation. To combat these threats effectively, communications service providers (CSPs) are in the unique position to be able provide cyber-threat protection as a service to their small business customers. By offering network-native security solutions, CSPs can help small businesses enhance their digital defences and mitigate potential cyber-threats, without specific knowledge and with minimal effort and investment. 

    Small business cyber-threats 

    Small businesses often underestimate their vulnerability to cyber-threats, incorrectly assuming that only large corporations are targets. However, research paints a different picture. A study by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) found that 43% of all cyberattacks target small businesses. The consequences of these attacks can be devastating, with 60% of small businesses closing their doors within six months of a data breach. 

    Left on their own, the picture looks grim. According to a recent Coleman Parks Research survey sponsored by Allot, of 1,000 small businesses worldwide, 68% said cost prevented them from cyber-securing their business. The lack of resources is not only financial. Frequently, small businesses have limited or no IT skills, let alone the cybersecurity expertise and personnel to handle the daily onslaught of cyber-threats. And the list of threats keeps growing. 

    Cyberattacks in their various forms can be disruptive to business. In some cases, an attack can halt operations or even force a small business to shut down. Here is a sample of what small businesses are facing today: 

    Phishing attacks: cybercriminals use deceptive methods to trick employees into following links that lead to revealing sensitive information or downloading malicious files. 

    Ransomware attacks: malware that encrypts a business’s critical data and demands a ransom for its release, causing operational disruptions and financial losses. 

    Data breaches: unauthorised access to customer information, including personal and financial data, leading to legal liabilities, reputational damage and loss of customer trust. 

    Other types of malware infections: viruses, worms, trojans and other types of malware can infiltrate small business networks, compromising data integrity and disrupting operations. 

    The unique position of CSPs to provide cyber-threat protection 

    As providers of internet access and services, CSPs are uniquely positioned to provide cyber-threat protection services to small businesses. Using a network-native solution served from within their networks, CSPs can offer a comprehensive, zero-touch defence against cyber-threats. 

    There is growing momentum from the small business market that points toward acceptance of the CSP as the provider of cybersecurity protection for small businesses. Among 1000 SMBs surveyed worldwide (in the same survey cited earlier) 69% said their CSPs should protect them and 35% said that they would pay their CSP USD $7+ per month for cybersecurity protection.

    These facts demonstrate the potential for CSPs to generate substantial supplemental revenue while serving a basic need of their small business customers. This, incidentally, is true for consumer customers, as well. 

    Network native cybersecurity protection for small businesses 

    Any CSP can offer their small business customers cybersecurity protection services that are based on a network native software solution. A network native cybersecurity solution is deployed in the CSP’s network so that cybersecurity services can be integrated into the core offering along with basic connectivity.

    Cybersecurity services should optimally be designed as CSP-grade, from the ground up, with a low network footprint and the simplicity to let the CSP offer services based on the solution at a very reasonable price that any small business can afford. 

    Network native cybersecurity services should be designed to be used by a small business owner with no IT skills. They must provide an intuitive user-centric approach where the small business owner assigns devices to users, which then automatically inherit the user security policy. 

    In a multi-service solution, the CSP can decide which modules are most suitable for what they want to use to build their offering. Different offerings can be created based on different product bundles.

    For example, a small business could choose from threat protection of devices on the business network – that is, connected to the business router, threat protection of devices connected to the mobile network, content filtering services and more. Threat and content filtering are updated around the clock for rapid detection of new threats as well as categorisation of websites.

    Another network-native security service that CSPs can offer to small businesses is a simplified network firewall that can prevent unwanted connections and communication, using default rules that can be easily customised, based on source, destination, service, and action. 

    When cybersecurity services are offered directly from within the CSP network, they can be zero-touch for the small business owner. In other words, the small business owner, with limited IT skills and expertise, can activate network native cybersecurity services without installing complicated software or hardware.

    This is a very attractive incentive for small business owners who just want to run their business without having to deal with cybersecurity. CSP-grade solution multi-tenancy is also crucial to ensure that up to millions of end users can take advantage of the service simultaneously, each configured with unique options and settings, with a minimal footprint for the CSP. 

    Benefits of network native cyber-threat protection as a service 

    By providing network native cyber-threat protection as a service, CSPs offer several advantages to small businesses: 

    Cost-effectiveness: small businesses can benefit from affordable, scalable security solutions designed for their specific needs. Instead of investing in expensive security infrastructure, they can simply rely on a service that is ready-to-go and optimised for their needs and limited budgets. 

    Automated threat protection: once the CSP deploys a network-native solution on their network, threat intelligence is continuously updated to keep all business subscribers protected against the latest and more advanced cyber-threats. 

    Peace of mind: by entrusting their cybersecurity to their CSP, small businesses can focus on their core operations, knowing that their digital assets are protected. This sense of security enables them to pursue growth opportunities without the constant worry and cost of cyber-threats. 

    The rising tide of cyber-threats requires a collaborative effort between small businesses and their communication service providers. By providing network native cybersecurity services as a part of the core offering, CSPs can empower small businesses with comprehensive, yet easy-to-use, security solutions. This is particularly important to the small business owner who has limited IT knowledge and manpower.

    While providing critical protection to small business customers, CSPs can create brand differentiation and increase revenue by 10-15% through premium security services, according to statistics from Allot. 

    Not all CSP-enabled security services are the same. But when the CSP offers network native cybersecurity services, zero-touch provisioning and operation, and premium protection at reasonable costs, this represents a win-win opportunity for small businesses and CSPs alike. 

    About Allot 

    Allot is a provider of leading innovative network intelligence and security solutions for service providers and enterprises worldwide, enhancing value to their customers. Our solutions are deployed globally for network and application analytics, traffic control and shaping, network-based security services, and more. Allot’s multi-service platforms are deployed by over 500 mobile, fixed and cloud service providers and over 1000 enterprises. Our industry-leading network-based security as a service solution is already used by many millions of subscribers globally.