Publications *Research Report

Revealing Barriers to Cyber-Protection Among Small and Medium Businesses


Small and medium businesses (SMBs) contribute significantly to the global economy. According to the World Bank, SMBs represent 90% of businesses and more than 50% of employment worldwide. In addition, SMB ownership helps facilitate upward social mobility by building wealth and assets. However, even though the financial gain of owning a business is high, so too are the risks, especially when the age of digitization has transformed how SMBs manage their digital assets. SMBs are known to be not less likely than large enterprises to be attacked by hackers. But with their fewer resources and a general lack of cybersecurity knowledge, they can be more vulnerable. A recent survey conducted on SMBs in Israel found that only 22% were aware of the cybersecurity recommendations provided by the Israeli National Cyber Directorate.

Due to having only a limited number of employees, key decision-makers such as the owner or manager of small and medium businesses often play a principal role in deciding cybersecurity defense implementations, which could have a significant impact on the security and sustainability of the company. However, due to limitations in knowledge and training, they may base their decision solely on their own perception of the defensive measures’ cost-effectiveness instead of the reliability or strength of the defense measures. It is therefore vital to understand the SMB’s current security status, as well as the extent of decision-makers’ misconceptions when implementing security strategies. Focusing on the human component in this study, including perceptions, attitudes, and behavioral patterns associated with cybersecurity, we can develop insights and recommendations that motivate SMBs toward better cybersecurity and management of their digital assets.


Bokobza, E., Chang, Y., Grinstein-Weiss, M., Heller, O., Shlomo, Y., Zhang, N. Revealing Barriers to Cyber-Protection Among Small and Medium Businesses. Social Policy Institute (2024).