SMEs starting to tackle cybersecurity
Cyberthreats have become an increasing risk over the past few years and many of the world’s largest companies have taken steps to protect themselves; however, what about those operating in the small- and medium-sized enterprises (SME) sector? It seems that no firm is safe these days, with cybercriminals always trying to find a route in. As a result, an increasing number of SMEs are beginning to take cybersecurity extremely seriously.
A huge problem for SMEs is thinking that they are too small to be targeted by criminals; in fact, this belief gives the thieves the perfect opportunity to infiltrate, costing companies money, time and data. Cybercrime risks increase every day; as a result, it is vital for businesses to prioritise safeguarding themselves. Until recently this was as simple as building a secure wall around networks and on-site infrastructure; however, with flexible and mobile working on the increase, it is becoming harder to ensure that every route into a business’s digital dealings is protected.
The majority of reported cybercrimes regard large corporate players, such as Lowe’s, eBay and Target. These companies have a lot of investment at their disposal and have the capability to put great security measures in place. For SMEs, however, IT budgets and teams are often far smaller in comparison and many executives are waking up to the fact that they have to act now.
In recent data from the US, the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) revealed that SMEs are now the target of around one-third of all attacks. An even more worrying fact is that there is so much damage done to those SMEs targeted and successfully attacked that 60% cease trading within six months. Unlike attacks on large companies, where trade secrets and intellectual property are often the target, those hitting SMEs normally want one thing: cash. As SMEs are often working on a far smaller budget and therefore have narrower margins, any significant cash loss can result in bankruptcy.
There are other reasons, particularly that SMEs have become a major player in the supply chains of larger brands. The recent Lowe’s attack, for example, was traced back to an SME providing human resources management to the the corporation that utilised a back-up system that was not secured.
Overall, the message is clear: all companies, regardless of their size, must take security measures. With SMEs increasingly targeted, it is vital for new businesses to prioritise cybersecurity in their strategy.
This article was written by Jack Skinner – Cyber Security Consultant
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