COLUMBUS, Ohio (Feb. 8, 2017) – According to a new report from the National Center for the Middle Market (NCMM), fewer than half of middle market companies manage a regularly updated cybersecurity strategy. This is despite the fact that 86 percent of middle market firms identify cybersecurity as an important priority. The report determined that the majority of middle market companies surveyed were concerned with cybersecurity, with 30 percent identifying it as an important or very important concern.

Published today, “Cybersecurity and the Middle Market,” is the latest addition to the NCMM’s Cybersecurity Resource Center, a website designed to assist middle market companies with planning and responding to cybersecurity threats. The report appears one month after the launch of the resource center.

“As we enter 2017, the threat of a cybersecurity breach has never been more widespread, and the need to be prepared to defend and react to those kinds of breaches is of paramount importance,” said Thomas A. Stewart, executive director of the NCMM. “Companies of all sizes should be assessing and updating their cybersecurity plans and protocols to ensure they are prepared when--not if--their company is attacked.”

While overall just 45 percent of middle market companies have a regularly updated cybersecurity strategy, attention to cybersecurity is more intense in the financial services (61 percent), healthcare (54 percent) and retail trade (51 percent) industries. The majority of companies surveyed (61 percent) indicated that cybersecurity is integrated with their in-house IT department, followed by outsourced efforts at 16 percent and in-house with a separate budget at 10 percent.

“Cybersecurity is top-of-mind for all Cisco customers – big and small. Many of our customers want to move to digital business models and understand that they can’t do so without ensuring they have iron-clad network security to protect their data, their systems, their connected machines and ultimately their customers. Middle market customers often have to face these challenges without the support of large cybersecurity infrastructure and know-how. They need solutions that are simple, open and automated,” said Jeff Sharritts, senior vice president, U.S. Commercial Sales, Cisco. “The Cybersecurity Research Center is an invaluable resource to executives trying to navigate this issue. The Center offers tools and insights that will make a real difference to their business plans.”

For middle market companies looking to implement, improve and/or create cybersecurity plans, the NCMM Cybersecurity Resource Center features up-to-date data and resources that allow companies to assess their cybersecurity risks and put together a plan to help train staff, defend against security breaches and recover if a company does fall victim to a cyber-attack.

“The Cybersecurity Resource Center was designed to help companies overcome challenges associated with implementing and maintaining cybersecurity initiatives,” said Stewart. “By collaborating with some of the most knowledgeable professionals in this industry, we hope to provide companies with the insight, expertise and tools necessary to keep their businesses and customers safe.”  

The NCMM Resource Center was developed by the center, faculty from The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business and experts from NCMM’s sponsors, including Cisco Systems, Inc., Grant Thornton LLP and SunTrust Banks, Inc. 

To access and learn more about the NCMM’s Cybersecurity Resource Center, please visit

Report Methodology
The National Center for the Middle Market surveyed 1,002 C-suite middle market executives between September 2 and September 14, 2016. It was weighted to accurately reflect the size, industry-wide and geographic distribution of the U.S. middle market, which includes companies ranging from $10 million to $1 billion in annual revenue. The survey was conducted by RTi Research on behalf of the National Center for the Middle Market. This was done by a self-administered online survey.

For additional survey data and infographics including in-depth looks at regional variations, hiring/talent acquisition efforts and other business concerns among middle market companies, visit

About the National Center for the Middle Market (NCMM)
The National Center for the Middle Market is a collaboration between The Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business, SunTrust Banks, Inc., Cisco Systems, Inc. and Grant Thornton LLP. It exists for a single purpose: to ensure that the vitality and robustness of middle market companies are fully realized as fundamental to our nation’s economic outlook and prosperity. The Center is the leading source of knowledge, leadership, and innovative research on the middle market economy, providing critical data analysis, insights and perspectives for companies, policymakers and other key stakeholders, to help accelerate growth, increase competitiveness and create jobs in this sector.

Housed at The Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business, the National Center for the Middle Market is the first center of its kind in the nation. The Center serves middle market firms, students, academic researchers, policy makers, the media and other key stakeholders with interests in the health and well-being of the middle market. The Center is fully committed to funding and distributing the most credible open-sourced research, dynamically creating new knowledge, providing programs that drive value for middle market companies and offering a well-informed outlook on the health and future of the middle market via the Middle Market Indicator.

For additional survey data and infographics including in-depth looks at regional variations, hiring/talent acquisition efforts and other business concerns among middle market companies, visit

Ann Smith
201.675.3709 (Mobile)
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