Graduate School of Business


Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)


Mike Kipreos


cybersecurity, business, IT professionals, vulnerability, cybercrime


Business | Computer Sciences


The U.S small and medium businesses (SMBs) are constantly attacked by cybercriminals. Alarmingly, the number of victimized SMBs is growing considerably every year. This results in the increasing loss of billions of dollars and risks to the national economy. The problem addressed was the rising number of cyberattacks critically harming SMBs resulting in revenue loss, damages to reputation, and business closure. The purpose of this research was to reveal the contemporary barriers and challenges that impact cybersecurity competencies of SMBs. This study used semi-structured interviews of participants who are currently working as cyber professionals in SMBs across industries. The goal of this research study was to reveal elements preventing SMBs from effectively defending against cyberattacks. This study provided a deeper understanding of challenges SMBs face in order to defend their digital infrastructure through experiences of employees currently working in SMBs. The findings revealed thirteen themes addressing both organizational and technical challenges of SMBs in fighting against the vicious cyberattacks. In addition, in the thirteen themes, there are recommendations that participants suggested SMBs should implement to mitigate cyberattacks. This research study offers breakthrough information to cyber professionals, businesses, business leadership, educators, cybersecurity vendors, and researchers.