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Small and Medium-Sized Businesses Are Increasingly Interested in Security Software as Cyberattacks Continue to Rise

Betsy Utley-Marin
January 17, 2024 6 MIN Blog

While companies of all sizes have seen an increase in cyberattacks, there’s been a dramatic spike in attacks targeted at small (10-49 employees) and medium-sized (200-499 employees) businesses in recent years. According to Accenture’s Cybercrime Study, 43% of cyberattacks are targeted at smaller businesses, yet only 14% are adequately prepared to defend themselves.  

As smaller organizations move their operations to the cloud and adopt more advanced technologies to stay competitive, they’ve also become more vulnerable to attacks. Not only do these breaches disrupt normal operations, but they can cause damage to critical IT assets and infrastructure that are impossible to recover from without the budget or resources to do so. As a result, small and medium-sized businesses are increasingly waking up to the reality that they are targets and increasingly strengthening their security with tools and practices that minimize their risk of being breached. ML Insights data backs this up, showing an 8% increase in small-sized companies and a 10% increase in medium-sized companies engaging with security-related content over the last year.  

Now is the time for B2B businesses in the cybersecurity sector to capitalize on the growing interest in security solutions among small and medium-sized organizations. Read on to learn more about what our data tells us about the accounts demonstrating the highest propensity to purchase security solutions, the buying committee personas making the key purchase decisions within these organizations, and the content topics most likely to resonate to accelerate deal conversion. 

Security Solutions Should Prioritize Accounts in the Manufacturing and Healthcare Verticals 

While our data shows increased interest among small and medium-sized companies for security solutions, it also reveals an 8% increase in healthcare vertical engagement with security-related content.​ Healthcare organizations are particularly vulnerable to targeted cyberattacks due to the substantial sensitive patient data they possess. Hackers can often sell this confidential data quickly—typically for 10x more than stolen credit card information on the dark web—making the healthcare vertical a lucrative and growing target for security breaches.  

Another vertical showing sustained interest in security solutions is manufacturing. According to IBM Security’s X-Force Threat Intelligence Index 2023, manufacturing was the top-attacked industry for the second year in a row. The report found that extortion was the common type of cyberattack reported by manufacturers, due in large part to their integral role in the global supply chain and the complexity of their operations. Many manufacturing facilities are simply unable to take their physical systems offline as a precautionary measure against a security threat. This has made them a profitable target for cybercriminals who know most organizations are willing to simply pay the ransom demands rather than deal with an extended operational disruption to reboot and regain access to their systems.  

ML Insights data reveals a 56% YoY increase in APAC region research for security-related content despite low targeting for it. With IBM Security’s X-Force Threat Intelligence Index also reporting that manufacturers in the Asia Pacific region had the most cyberattacks (approximately 61% of global cases), this presents an opportunity for security solution brands to engage manufacturers in this region and strike while the iron is hot.   

Target Operation and IT Roles to Win Over the Buying Committee 

Security professionals are often targeted the most with security-related content and messaging, yet ML Insights data suggests that those in operations and IT are the ones most involved in the decision-making process. That’s because the typical buying committee for a complex B2B solution often consists of six to ten decision-makers, each armed with their own set of four or five independently gathered pieces of information that they share with the group to make a unanimous purchase decision. When you target just one member of the buying committee you risk your brand and value being missed or lost. You must account for every member of the buying group by speaking to their pain points and crafting content specifically for them, so when the buying group sits down to decide, multiple decision-makers recognize your brand on their shortlists.  

Another intriguing trend revealed by our data is which roles are most active in the decision process. We’ve seen a 21% YoY increase in director role research for security solutions despite lower targeting for it. With a majority of data breaches caused by human error, it’s understandable that directors would recognize the need for better employee training and system security to combat these threats. Examine your persona-based targeting strategy to ensure you’re reaching the buying committee members with the most influence during active solution research.​ 

Content Around Detection and Response Tools Are Consumed the Most 

According to the World Economic Forum, human error is the leading cause of cybersecurity breaches, accounting for 95% of incidents. Those focused on maintaining corporate defenses against cybercrime cannot afford to ignore the substantial and increasing risk posed by their employees. Capitalize on this growing concern by integrating insider threat, clickjacking, and malware analysis content in your promotion strategy.  

In addition to understanding the different types of cyber breaches, our data also suggests an increased appetite for ways organizations can better prepare themselves for attacks. Showcase how businesses can leverage better technology to manage security risks with assets highlighting two-factor authentication, vulnerability scanning, and out-of-band authentication​ use cases. ​ 

Leverage Data to Stop Chasing the Wrong Accounts 

Cybercrime costs are expected to reach $10.5 trillion by 2025, underscoring an urgent need for businesses to strengthen their security efforts by implementing technology measures to protect their assets and customers from threats. 

Understanding the organizations most ready to invest in security solutions starts with data. Use it to prioritize in-market accounts, know which personas to engage across the buying committee, and understand what content is most likely to convert. Here at Madison Logic, we use the world’s leading purchase intent data signals to help marketers accelerate the buyer’s journey and drive pipeline.  

ML Insights offers B2B marketers the most advanced dataset available, simplifying the identification of in-market accounts, the prioritization of individuals to engage within the organizations, and the content that can accelerate the sales cycle for each audience. We achieve this through the MLI Score, a holistic signal that unifies three key data sources to reveal who’s being targeted, who’s engaging with content, and who is researching solutions so you can go after the accounts with the highest propensity to purchase.And when combined with CRM and MAP first-party customer data, marketers usingML Insights togain deeper insights to maximize their marketing spend and accelerate accounts through the buying journey.  

Request a demo to learn how Madison Logic can help you activate a more successful data-driven ABM strategy today.