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Small Business Economic Report Identifies Concerns with Technology, Cybersecurity Gaps

  • Report from the National Small Business Association and Cisco finds that small business owners’ economic outlook remains relatively unchanged compared to a year ago
  • The survey also identified considerable gaps in technology issues and cybersecurity protections
  • Worries about cyberattacks have eased, though the report warns that this isn’t correlated with any decrease in incidents

Summary by Dirk Langeveld

Small business owners continued to be less confident and less likely to have a favorable economic outlook than before the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a recent report from the National Small Business Association and Cisco. The report also identified major gaps in technology issues and cybersecurity protections.

“After nearly two years in this ‘new normal’ the pandemic has forever changed how we work and technology has been a lifeboat for many small businesses,” said Todd McCracken, president and CEO of the NSBA. “However today, one in five small-business owners say they are not confident they will fully recover from the pandemic and one-third still are not back to pre-pandemic levels.”

The 2021 Small Business Recovery and Technology report collected responses from 1,150 small business owners in September.

  • Small business outlook has not changed substantially over the past year, with one in four respondents saying they are not confident in their business’s financial future
  • 39 percent said they considered the national economy to be better than it was six months ago, while 37 percent said they thought it was worse
  • Respondents were less worried about cybersecurity than they were in July 2019, with the share saying they were very concerned on this issue falling from 62 percent to 42 percent; the report says this does not correlate with any easing in cyberattacks, but rather reflects a disconnect between these incidents and business owners’ concern about them
  • While 52 percent said they were very concerned about a cyberattack in July 2019, the share fell to 27 percent in September
  • Only 29 percent said they had been the victim of a cyberattack; among these respondents, the most commonly cited impacts were a service disruption (39 percent) and information being falsely sent from their company’s domain (25 percent)
  • 45 percent said they handled their own cybersecurity, while 48 percent had a staff member or external firm handle it
  • 51 percent rated themselves as having a moderate understanding of cybersecurity, while 21 percent rated their knowledge as low and 8 percent said they had little or no knowledge on the matter
  • Only 34 percent had completed a technology audit

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