Sitting Ducks: Why SMEs need Threat Intelligence

There’s a widely held assumption that small businesses are small targets but evidence points to the contrary. The latest Government Information Security Breaches Survey found 74 percent of small businesses had experienced a breach over the past year, up 60 percent compared to the previous year, with the worst breach cost averaging between £75k – £311k across the sector.

That’s a hefty price to pay and one that has convinced many to invest more in security (with spend up 44 percent according to the same survey). But are budgets being wisely spent? The indications are that investment continues to be channelled into point solutions, which, in today’s threat landscape, is often too little too late.

Relying upon the network perimeter means the company is caught on the back foot. The timescales involved make it incredibly difficult to align and escalate resource to counter an attack and the SME becomes a sitting duck in a perpetual state of defence.

Part of the reason for this is there are limited options available to the SME and threat intelligence, which can buy the time needed to rally defences, is often out of their league. The same survey found only 16 percent of those questioned were investing in an internal Security Operations Center (SOC) (although it wasn’t specified if these were SMEs). The limited rollout demonstrates what a massive commitment a SOC is to build, maintain and utilise effectively.

Yet SMEs need the threat intelligence a SOC can provide. Take DoS attacks. DoS attacks typically generate substantial chatter over social media channels and/or the darkweb and an assault can be tracked sometimes months ahead of the threat being realised. Large organisations are winning the numbers war, with DoS attack rates falling over the past year, but the picture remains unchanged in the SME sector with 16 percent experiencing attacks year-on-year. By collating, analysing and interrogating data by sector, region, company profile, operational model and technical complexity SMEs can anticipate such attacks.

What SMEs DON’T need are the overheads associated with a SOC. Deploying a SOC internally is cost prohibitive and once your up and running it requires skill to monitor events, spot patterns and interpret the implications to forecast outcomes. For these reasons, Auriga decided to launch Compass SOC service, a scalable SOC that puts threat intelligence within the reach of even the smallest business and supports growth, expanding according to need.

Compass is a next generation SOC which collates metadata from various dynamic sources in real-time and cross-correlates these events before a team of security analysts interpret the data. The focus is on actionable intelligence: information that buys the enterprise time to allocate resource and respond before the threat becomes manifest.

Compass is offered in three cumulative tiers. An entry level silver service affords SOC services made available during standard working hours complemented by a Managed Cyber Security Service, while a second tier service offers ‘always on’ SOC services 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with tailored Threat Intelligence. This is further extended in the third and final level service to include Threat Forecasting and Business Intelligence, helping steer business decisions and direct future security spend.

Compass makes advanced SOC services available as an outsourced offering, reducing the risk, overheads and complexity associated with an in-house offering while providing real-time insights into sector specific threats. In this way, Compass ensures the SME is no longer a sitting duck but becomes a moving target, able to outpace its attackers and maintain business as usual.


Auriga Consulting Ltd, a centre of excellence in Cyber Security and Monitoring Services. With a renowned track record of succeeding where others have failed. Offering its clients a cyber protection journey from design through to continuous monitoring, Auriga’s Consultants and Analysts have tailored solutions no matter the size of your organisation.