Respondents to an OpenText Security Solutions survey found that 84% of small- to medium-sized business were concerned about ransomware. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

OpenText Security Solutions on Monday reported that some 84% of respondents to a small- and mid-sized business (SMB) survey are concerned about a ransomware attack on their business.

The report also found that 88% of respondents say they are “concerned” or “extremely concerned” about a broader-based cyberattack on their business, while some 57% are worried about their cybersecurity budgets shrinking amid rising inflation rates.

“SMBs are a sweet spot for hackers to exploit because they often lack cybersecurity resources, both technology and security expertise,” said Prentiss Donohue, executive vice president at OpenText Security Solutions. "Today’s complex threat landscape presents a huge risk to SMBs that don’t have sufficient cyber resiliency preparation to stop the spread and recover quickly from an attack.”

Ransomware has emerged as the No. 1 threat to any company of any size in any industry, said Christopher Prewitt, CTO and Inversion6. Prewitt said at this point almost everyone knows someone who’s business was affected by ransomware.

“It’s baffling that only 84% are concerned about an attack, as it’s hard to imagine a business that can function without any IT access,” Prewitt said. “It’s how we communicate, how we sell, how we transact. SMBs are in a precarious position. They are often solely focused on their product and customers, with IT being a tool that they do not want to have to manage. Even if they are using an MSP, many do not have experienced security specialists to provide adequate services, but their customers may not know how to differentiate or know until it’s too late.”

Darren Guccione, co-founder and CEO at Keeper Security, added that SMBs are the most underserved market regarding cybersecurity, yet they are a primary attack target by cybercriminals. This has significant economic impacts, said Guccione, as SMBs are critically important to the health of the economy.

Guccione pointed out that the U.S. Small Business Administration reports small businesses make up 99.9% of all U.S. businesses, yet many SMBs are just one cyberattack away from being forced to shut their doors. ​

“In the coming year, I expect that cybersecurity vendors will put greater focus on the highly exploited SMB market, providing the cyber defense tools it needs,” Guccione said. “I also expect that we will see cybersecurity solutions that are simpler to provision by IT departments, easier for the employee to use, and more cost-effective.”