Every year marks another "worst year ever" for cyber-attacks around the world,
The unprecedented changes that have occurred in the aftermath of COVID-19 provide compelling reasons for both large as well as Small And Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) to reconsider their business models. The current pandemic is wreaking havoc on both human life and the economy. However, on the bright side, it has compelled SMEs to embark on their much-needed digital transformation journey. And, in this day and age, going digital entails much more than just having a mobile app or a presence on social media; it entails a comprehensive strategy that is aligned with business goals and has clearly defined metrics. Going digital, on the other hand, introduces a new challenge for both large and small businesses.
"The data collected by the Kaspersky Security Network (KSN) report between January March 2020 shows that India now ranks 27th globally in the number of web threats detected by the company in Q1 2020 as compared to when it ranked on the 32nd position globally in Q4 2019." - Sushant Bhosale AGM Marketing, Clover Infotech
Cybersecurity is a problem that SMEs cannot afford to ignore.
When hackers target large organizations, they frequently make headlines and capture everyone's attention. How often do we hear about a small or medium-sized business being targeted by cyber attackers? Hardly ever. However, this does not mean that hackers do not target smaller businesses. SMEs, on the contrary, are an appealing target due to their lack of resources to defend against such attacks.
Cyber-attacks can happen to anyone, but they are predominantly harmful to small businesses. SMEs that are digitally transforming now have the potential to be market leaders in the future. As long as they don't fall victim to a cyber-attack! It is common knowledge that the financial costs of a cyber-attack can be crippling to small and medium-sized businesses. Though the benefits of digital transformation are obvious, the journey is not without challenges. If digital transformation is the CHANGE, then cybersecurity is the CHA(LLE)NGE that goes with it. Unfortunately, most SMEs underestimate the challenge of cybersecurity and believe that hackers will not find anything valuable in their systems to steal. Nevertheless, SMEs can be the victims of a variety of cyberattacks, including Malware, Phishing, DDoS, and Insider Threat.
What are the main challenges that SMEs face?
- There is a limited or no budget for cybersecurity.
- Personnel shortage to deal with cyber vulnerabilities
- Inadequate understanding and awareness of cybersecurity
HERE ARE 5 SIMPLE STEPS IN REDUCING THE RISK OR IMPACT OF A CYBER ATTACK:
- All employees should receive periodic cyber security training that covers best practices and how to detect a phishing attack.
- Consult companies that are specialized in Cybersecurity
- Software and operating systems must be updated regularly with the most recent version available, and patches must be applied whenever they become available.
- Maintain a BCP (Business Continuity Plan) in the form of backups of critical data to the business of both customers and employees.
- Remote access (if allowed) should be accompanied by strict rules/guidelines and precautionary measures.
- Consider purchasing cyber insurance, which will come in handy in the event of a cyber-attack.
The preceding statement is also true in the case of a cyber threat. However, preventing a cyber-attack is preferable to finding a solution after one has occurred. SMEs must make security a priority rather than an afterthought. Hackers work on the assumption that SMEs’ cybersecurity budgets are limited, and in most cases, this assumption is correct. SMEs’ financial constraints are comprehensible.
“However, they need to realize that cybersecurity is not an optional element in the growing digital ecosystem and they need to plan for the same to survive the competition. Moreover, a single attack could wipe out their finances. Also, in the majority of the cases, cybersecurity solutions will be cheaper as compared to the recovery process after the attack. An effective cybersecurity policy makes it possible for businesses to focus on core areas that can drive higher revenue and thus profit.” – Sushant Bhosale AGM Marketing, Clover Infotech
While cybersecurity is an important component of SMEs’ digital transformation journeys, they must also know, how to create a successful charter for digital transformation.