Small businesses often have a bad reputation for being the gateway to supply-chain attacks on larger enterprises. But this may not be the case, as seen in a new report on small-business security.
As part of (ISC)²'s "Securing the Partner Ecosystem" study, researchers surveyed 700-plus people from small and large organizations to learn views on data-sharing risk. Half of large businesses view third-party partners of all sizes as a security risk, but only 14% have suffered a breach from working with a small partner. Meanwhile, 17% were breached as the result of working with a larger partner.
In fact, 94% of large enterprises are "confident" or "very confident" in small-business partners' security practices, with 95% having a process for vetting security capabilities. Nearly two-thirds of large firms outsource 26% of their daily business tasks to third parties, which requires data sharing. Here, researchers found access management and vulnerability mitigation are often overlooked.
How so? For starters, 34% of large enterprises say they have been surprised by the broad level of access a third-party partner had been given to their networks and data. Nearly 40% of small businesses had been surprised by the access granted when providing services to large partners.
More than half (54%) of small businesses expressed surprise at some large clients' insufficient security practices; 53% have notified clients of vulnerabilities found in larger networks. Fifty-five percent of small businesses said they continued to have access to a client's network or data after a project was completed. What's more concerning, 35% of large organizations admitted when a third party alerted them to insecure data access policies, their practices didn't change.