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A survey on the cyber security of Small-to-Medium businesses: Challenges, research focus and recommendations

Chidukwani, A., Zander, S. and Koutsakis, P.ORCID: 0000-0002-4168-0888 (2022) A survey on the cyber security of Small-to-Medium businesses: Challenges, research focus and recommendations. IEEE Access, 10 . pp. 85701-85719.

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Small-to-medium sized businesses (SMBs) constitute a large fraction of many countries’ economies but according to the literature SMBs are not adequately implementing cyber security which leaves them susceptible to cyber-attacks. Furthermore, research in cyber security is rarely focused on SMBs, despite them representing a large proportion of businesses. In this paper we review recent research on the cyber security of SMBs, with a focus on the alignment of this research to the popular NIST Cyber Security Framework (CSF). From the literature we also summarise the key challenges SMBs face in implementing good cyber security and conclude with key recommendations on how to implement good cyber security. We find that research in SMB cyber security is mainly qualitative analysis and narrowly focused on the Identify and Protect functions of the NIST CSF with very little work on the other existing functions. SMBs should have the ability to detect, respond and recover from cyber-attacks, and if research lacks in those areas, then SMBs may have little guidance on how to act. Future research in SMB cyber security should be more balanced and researchers should adopt well-established powerful quantitative research approaches to refine and test research whilst governments and academia are urged to invest in incentivising researchers to expand their research focus.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): IT, Media and Communications
Publisher: IEEE
Copyright: © 2022 A. Chidukwani et al.
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