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Top SMB Security Concerns: Insights for IT Service Providers

By TSL Marketing

May 24, 2024

About 8 minutes

Recently, TSL Marketing surveyed 480 business leaders at small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). We asked questions about security challenges and technology trends. The TSL 2024 Small and Medium-Sized Business Technology Survey uncovered key insights related to cybersecurity concerns faced by SMBs. Many of the SMBs surveyed are in high-risk industries with strict compliance regulations, such as finance and healthcare. 

IT services companies should be aware of any security challenges SMBs need to meet, as well as where SMBs are planning to invest in cybersecurity. Managed service providers (MSPs) that provide security services and managed security service providers (MSSPs) must understand what SMBs need from cybersecurity to target them successfully and win them over as customers. 

Top 3 IT Security Concerns for SMBs 

As part of the TSL 2024 Small and Medium-Sized Business Technology Survey, TSL asked business leaders at SMBs to identify their top 3 security concerns. Of the respondents: 

  • 46% identified Ransomware 
  • 44% named Data Breaches 
  • 38% chose Employee Negligence 

While almost 40% of SMBs were concerned about employee negligence as an internal threat, the top 2 choices were both external security risks, with ransomware ranking as the top security threat. 

Knowing the top security concerns of SMBs helps IT service companies to anticipate the types of services prospects are looking for. For example, ransomware prevention requires endpoint and email security and employee security awareness training. 

SMB Security Investments  

TSL asked SMBs in which IT areas they are planning to invest this year. Cybersecurity was the top choice with 67% of respondents indicating that they plan to invest in it. 

These results are good news for IT services companies that provide security services. By targeting SMBs with marketing messages that stress cybersecurity expertise, MSPs and MSSPs can win over prospects and gain loyal customers that have the budget to outsource security services. 

Popular Cybersecurity Services 

The survey also asked SMBs to identify in which IT security services they planned to invest. Of the companies surveyed: 

  • 62% named Endpoint/Device Security 
  • 51% pointed to Identity and Access Management 
  • 46% selected Email Threat Defense 

These responses align with the concerns over ransomware as a top security threat. All 3 of these top choices help to prevent ransomware attacks by protecting endpoint, email, and other company assets and systems from unauthorized access. 

Knowing which security services SMBs want to invest in helps IT service companies tailor their marketing messages to address the needs of prospects that are most likely to convert into customers. 

How IT Services Firms Can Improve

TSL gained useful insights into how IT service companies can better serve SMBs. When asked how they would like to see IT services companies improve their services: 

  • 57% chose Decrease Cost 
  • 44% indicated Improve Responsiveness 
  • 42% identified Be More Proactive 

While SMBs have budgeted for security, they still want cybersecurity services to be affordable and cost-efficient.  

SMBs also expressed a desire for faster service and a proactive approach to IT services, such as security. IT services firms can use this information to improve their customer service and emphasize their responsiveness, availability, and preventative approach to cybersecurity in their marketing messages.

Giving SMBs the Cybersecurity Services They Need 

TSL Marketing has been delivering technology thought leadership for 25 years. Our 2024 SMB Technology Survey is just one example of how our research can help IT service companies grow by gaining a better understanding of their target market.  

At TSL, we specialize in growth services for MSPs that offer security services and MSSPs. We can work with your IT services company to develop marketing strategies that leverage our survey’s insights into SMB cybersecurity concerns. 

Learn how to generate leads for your IT services firm. Schedule a meeting with an MSP Growth Expert from TSL Marketing. 

Tags: Technology Marketing, Managed Service Providers, MSPs, IT service companies, MSSPs, Cybersecurity Challenges IT Security Investments, MSSP Growth, Managed Security Service Providers, MSP Growth