SMEs, which account for 90% of total businesses globally according to the World Bank, play a significant role in emerging economies, contributing up to 40% of national income (GDP). Disturbingly, small businesses were the target of 61% of cyberattacks in 2022, and the devastating costs associated with ransomware attacks can even result in the complete closure of an SME.
Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) play a critical role in the global economy, representing 90% of all businesses worldwide. Unfortunately, they are also frequent targets of cyberattacks, with many SMEs lacking adequate cybersecurity measures. According to a survey conducted by Check Point Software, only 22% of SMEs feel adequately prepared for a cyber attack, and a significant number lack internal security specialists or rely on non-specialist staff to manage their security products. This situation is concerning, particularly in the context of remote working and the rapid adoption of cloud, mobile, and SaaS technologies, where human errors and negligence often serve as entry points for hackers.
While it may seem counter-intuitive to invest in staff training and security measures during an economic downturn, the costs associated with cyberattacks can be devastating and potentially lead to the closure of an SME. In Singapore alone, organizations face an average of 1,269 attacks per week, according to the Check Point Intelligence Report. Cyberattack methods have also evolved, with the rise of double and triple extortion ransomware attacks that impact multiple layers of the supply chain. These attacks involve compromising a company’s data and demanding ransom, followed by contacting affected users or partners for additional payments.
Check Point Software aims to raise awareness among SMEs about network risks and help them achieve digital resilience through some recommended measures:
- Regular backups: Creating and storing automated backups of data allows for quick recovery and minimizes the impact of ransomware attacks.
- Keeping devices updated: Applying patches and updates promptly helps fix vulnerabilities and enhances defense against ransomware attacks.
- User authentication: Implementing two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of protection against cybercriminals attempting to exploit stolen user credentials.
- Reducing the attack surface: Prioritizing prevention over detection by focusing on minimizing vulnerabilities can significantly reduce the risk of ransomware infections.
- Deploying anti-ransomware solutions: Utilizing specialized software that can identify and detect ransomware attacks based on their unique digital footprints.
- Cybersecurity training and awareness: Providing employees with training and support to recognize and avoid potential threats, particularly phishing emails, can strengthen overall security.
“Hybrid working has complicated security for SMEs, fostering the need for a simple, consolidated security platform. More and more companies want to invest in cybersecurity to safeguard and drive business growth” shares Rebecca Law, Country Manager, Singapore, Check Point Software Technologies. “However, with the growing shortage of skilled cybersecurity professionals, they need a solution that offers full coverage protection without complicated installation and integration processes, preferably one that delivers proven threat prevention and the flexibility of an ‘all-in-one’ solution that combines security and internet connectivity.”
By following these recommendations, SMEs can enhance their security posture and continue to grow securely in today’s digital landscape