top of page
  • Vikram Chabra

Cybersecurity for SMBs—Will a Virtual CISO Round Out Your Team?  

 There’s a bullseye on the back of every small and midsize business (SMB). A recent study estimated that cyber criminals targeted 61% of all SMBs in America in 2023. They were the victim in 43% of all successful data breaches, and in companies with less than 500 people, the average attack costs over $3 million. Falling prey to a cyber attack is expensive in the short-term. In the long-term, it can cause permanent damage to your company’s reputation and hamper future growth. The whole company has a role to play, but fighting back against attackers relies on having the right resources and skill sets in place or enlisting someone like a Virtual CISO to help fortify your defenses. 


Keeping your business safe takes more than just an IT team. Protecting against cyber incidents involves everyone in your organization. Likewise, it only takes one person making a single mistake to initiate a major incident. If you can’t match up your roster to all the necessary roles and responsibilities, consider enlisting a Virtual CISO rather than letting cyber risk and security gaps grow.  


Here's how each employee, from the top down, plays a vital part in keeping the business secure, healthy, and growing.  



As the company's leader, cultivating a cyber-safe environment is paramount. There are vast business implications that can result from a breach including financial, regulatory, and reputational risk. Company-wide reminders and actionable security initiatives reinforce that staying safe from all threats is a top priority. Appoint a Cyber Leader to share your message around the company. And start early—the best time to bolster your cybersecurity is before an attack, not after, so create an Incident Response Plan and schedule practice drills to ensure employees know exactly what to do. Finally, the highest executive in the company will be the one to make the final call about hiring a Virtual CISO when necessary.  



Implementing cybersecurity plans is your responsibility, and even with a top-tier IT team, proper security measures are essential to protect the SMB. Support the CEO in developing an Incident Response Plan, Disaster Recovery Plan, and Business Continuity Plan. Ensure the implementation of a robust training plan covering how to set up MFA, catch phishing emails, and escalate threats. Track the company's progress and give management frequent feedback to emphasize the importance of cybersecurity and cyber health metrics they can share with investors and the Board. In the absence of someone to complete these responsibilities, consider outsourcing rather than delegating them to another employee or trying to hire a qualified CISO.  


IT Lead  

Don't just "hope" that everyone will follow best practices – the IT Lead must enforce them. Require multi-factor authentication (MFA) as an effective measure against hackers; ensure that users with admin privileges know best practices; enforce a least privilege system to minimize the risk of information exposure; and keep up to date with Known Exploited Vulnerabilities. You must also test your company, as often as possible, to find vulnerabilities before hackers do. Most important of all: be bold about asking for resources from higher-level management. 


All Employees 

Everyone, from remote workers to new hires, part-time employees, and interns, needs to remain on guard against cyber attacks. Be aware of common phishing, scamming, and hacking techniques, and never be afraid to ask if something is a scam. Never click unknown links, either, and always use MFA because it can prevent mistakes from exploding into incidents. And remember: everyone plays a role in cybersecurity, including you.  


Cybersecurity Made Simple for SMBs 

While every SMB employee helps keep the business cyber safe, even the most diligent teams aren’t enough to protect a business from aggressive and constant cyber attacks if they don’t have a CISO. Someone with executive-level skills in cybersecurity is, in many cases, the missing catalyst from a cybersecurity strategy.  


Add this expert to your team without the time, expense, and frustration of hiring with Virtual CISO services from NopalCyber. Our experts are here to be your CISO in the truest sense, meaning they’re widely available for planning, guidance, and troubleshooting, and they’re experts in your tech stack and security posture. When security issues arise—as is inevitable—you always have someone who’s been there before and knows what to do.  


In addition to Virtual CISO services, NopalCyber offers everything SMBs need to stay secure. Through rigorous attack surface reduction, a 24/7/365 SOC, and real-time threat intelligence, we handle your cyber safety so you can focus on what matters most - growing your company. 


Get the cybersecurity every SMB requires. Contact us.  





bottom of page