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Why SMEs Should Worry About Cyber Security in 2022

Why SMEs Should Worry About Cyber Security

Globally, the threat of cybercrime is consistently growing. According to checkpoint, in 2021 Cyberattacks on corporate networks increased by 50% when compared to 2020.

With more internet users and more businesses are online now, the risk to both consumers and companies are continually evolving. Cybercriminals are developing new strategies every day, and for small businesses, this could mean that necessary cyber measures aren’t going to cut it for much longer.

In 2021 alone victims lost $6.9 billion due to Cybercrimes. In recent years there is a massive spike in crimes like extortion, personal data breaches, phishing, and business email compromise. In 2021 Tarlogic one of the world’s leading companies in cybersecurity and cyber intelligence tracked more than $800 million false transactions in the Ethereum Blockchain.

Many of these crimes disproportionately affect businesses, and the damages they can incur can, in some cases, be disastrous. 

1. IC3 reporting and business-focused crimes

a number of the fastest-growing crimes mentioned previously were given particular attention. These include business email compromise, payroll diversion, and extortion.

In 2021 IC3 received 847,376 reported complaints from the American public, which was a 7% increase from 2020. Ransomware, business e-mail compromise (BEC) schemes, and the criminal use of cryptocurrency are among the top incidents reported.

The variety of strategies used in these forms of criminal activity shows that there is no one way to solve cyber insecurities. However, understanding these crimes, how they are carried out, and ways a business can protect itself are vital.

2. Business email compromise (BEC)

A typical phishing strategy, cybercriminals will spoof or hack the email account of a member of the business to get sensitive information or manipulate the victim into approving insecure fund transfers.

One form that’s mainly on the rise is whaling, where criminals will take the identity of a senior member of the team to emphasize the authority of their claims.

Communicating outside of email, such as on the phone, about unexpected fund transfers will ensure nothing goes ahead without the proper approval.

Comprehensive staff training on spotting phishing emails and staying alert about discussing sensitive information will also keep the business as secure as possible.

3. Payroll diversion

Cybercriminals use company login details to divert the salary of an employee whose details have been compromised.

This is also typically achieved through phishing, where criminals manipulate staff into sharing their login details unsuspectingly. The criminal will then divert payments into an account owned by them, which is often only detected after payment has gone through.

Emphasizing the imperative necessity to keep login data safe at all times with staff members will help avoid issues like payroll diversion. Comprehensive and regular cybersecurity training is vital to maintain the safety of the entire network at all times.

Payroll diversion

4. Data breaches

A form of cybercrime that is regularly in the news thanks to prolific breaches at companies like Facebook, Google, Amazon, British Airways, and Marriott. However, data breaches are not just a problem for large organizations and can be even more damaging to smaller companies.

Losing clients’ sensitive information can not only incur fines, damage costs, and insurance claims; a significant breach could also cause a loss in reputation, which can reduce revenue and irreversibly damage a business.

While training the staff is one of the essential elements of a security strategy, the best way to avoid data breaches is to use sophisticated software. Whether this is an agency or an in-house team, standards must be high for every aspect of security.

5. Ransomware

Ransomware

The threat of ransomware is a major issue, and many organizations end up paying the ransom, which is highly inadvisable for several reasons. Firstly, paying out for a ransom enables cybercriminals and encourages hackers to continue taking money from businesses.

Additionally, placing your trust in a hacker doesn’t always work out, and many who pay out thousands are still denied access to their data, losing everything in the process.

The cost of cybersecurity measures can seem like an unnecessary amount, especially for small businesses.

However, the damages which a security breach can cause far outweigh the price of preemptive protection. As the cyber landscape becomes ever more complicated and dangerous, business owners will need to understand this fact and ensure their companies are highly protected or risk untimely closure.

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