DigitalOcean Study Finds Growing Cybersecurity Concerns Among SMBs and Startups

54% say they are more concerned about cybersecurity now than one year ago

DigitalOcean Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: DOCN), the cloud for startups and small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs), today announced the findings of a recent report on how SMBs feel about and are responding to cybersecurity threats.

Cybersecurity threats are more real and prevalent than ever before. For businesses, security breaches risk not only exposure to customer data and a decrease in trust, but also losses in revenue if systems are taken offline through attacks such as distributed denials of service (DDoS).

For SMBs and startups in particular, breaches can be devastating, but to provide effective solutions, companies must spend valuable resources on maintaining or updating systems, hiring and training staff, and implementing security software — resources and options that many don’t have readily available.

“The findings in this report show that SMBs have specific needs and pain points, particularly when it comes to hiring and having dedicated security employees,” said Tyler Healy, VP of Security at DigitalOcean. “Even without a traditional security role, there should be someone responsible for making security decisions in every organization; this kind of accountability is crucial. With slimmer budgets, SMBs shouldn’t look to overcomplicate their security posture. For many smaller businesses, improving cybersecurity is likely not about what they can purchase or who they can hire at any single point in time, and is as much cultural and behavioral as it is technical. Choices to simplify security posture early can pay dividends as a business scales.”

Key findings of the report include:

  • Cybersecurity is a growing concern among small businesses. 54% of respondents say they are more concerned about cybersecurity now than one year ago.
  • 80% of startups and SMBs have one or fewer employees dedicated to security. 38% of surveyed businesses said they had zero employees dedicated to security as all or part of their role, and 42% had just one employee working on security.
  • Data privacy is a top concern among startups, but 57% of respondents have zero employees dedicated to data privacy. The study found that 74% of businesses say that data privacy is a top concern for their business, but the majority have zero employees dedicated to data privacy.
  • Lack of time to focus on security and keeping up with changing threats are the biggest challenges for businesses.

Read or download the full report here:


This report is based on a sample size of 554, 70% of whom identify as CEO, founder, or owners, and 23% who identify as CTOs. Respondents represent 76 countries, with 27% being in the United States, 8% in the UK, 5% in India, 5% in Germany, and 5% in Canada. Respondents came from a range of digital industries, with 37% being in software/Software as a Service, 19% technology consulting, 6% marketing/advertising, 4% eCommerce, and 6% other technology industries. The questionnaire was developed by DigitalOcean and was distributed via a link through email and social media channels to both DigitalOcean customers and non-customers.

About DigitalOcean

DigitalOcean simplifies cloud computing so businesses can spend more time creating software that changes the world. With its mission-critical infrastructure and fully managed offerings, DigitalOcean helps developers at startups and small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) rapidly build, deploy and scale, whether creating a digital presence or building digital products. DigitalOcean combines the power of simplicity, security, community and customer support so customers can spend less time managing their infrastructure and more time building innovative applications that drive business growth. For more information, visit


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