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  • Abhishek Bhatta

Cybersecurity for Small and Medium Enterprises

Enterprise cybersecurity is often flooded with technical assessments of how vulnerable they are, the attack vector, and the increased risk. Cyber risks have always been around, especially in small and medium enterprises (SME) where they may not be aware of the consequences of cyber-attacks. Most of the large enterprises have realized the need for cyber risk management in their business strategy because there is a greater understanding of the necessity for comprehensive and intelligent cyber threat protection. However, SMEs do not regard cyber-risks as an essential strategic component even though they are a real and rising occurrence for small enterprises. As per a report published by Verizon, there were 1,037 incidents targeting SMEs with 263 confirmed data disclosures in 2021 globally.

Why are Small and Medium Enterprises more targeted?

SMEs are vulnerable because of their business strategy, which is more focused towards making a fast profit than on cyber risk management plans. SMEs have limited resources; therefore, they will be more risk-focused and will have to cut corners on the security side - especially those who are struggling to keep their doors open.

Limited resources and having a small team will also cause them to work on many platforms at the same time. This kind of distribution causes them to be less aware of cyber risks. With all kinds of attacks like ransomware, phishing, insider threat, and malware, companies like these are not ready to handle such risks and the habit of welcoming risk to later be taken care of could cause a great deed for the company.

Some SMEs are a part of a supply chain for larger enterprises. The adversaries could use small enterprises as a medium to get to the bigger bulls on the game.

On the other hand, a small enterprise could provide a specific service for a large financial services firm. That SME would have access to many data sets from the financial firm, even though they lack adequate cybersecurity.

How to protect your small enterprise from Cyber-attacks

As stated above, one of the major problems faced by SMEs is funding and budget. Some general cyber hygiene tips are listed below to ensure an effective cyber practice within an organization:

  • Comprehensive background check on employees for any criminal records.

  • Use of antivirus programs and basic firewalls on your network and system.

  • Providing cyber-security training to employees to inform them about data security and privacy.

  • Prioritizing safe internet practices while sharing sensitive information online.

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