Cyber criminals profiting from business complacency

SMEs are being urged to boost security, with the government figures showing they are the most frequently targeted type of business – but the least likely to take the threat seriously.

Fresh on the heels of the ‘Wannacry’ ransomware attack, which affected the majority of countries around the world and debilitated parts of the UK’s health system and German transport network, the NSW Small Business Commissioner released figures suggesting one in three SMEs in the state has fallen victim to some form of cyber crime.

A survey of 1,400 SMEs revealed that around half of business owners feel less exposed to cyber crime because they maintain a limited digital presence, such as a simple website and perhaps social media. Yet this common myth is leaving many firms vulnerable to attack.

“Doing business online can open up huge opportunities, but small businesses need to take full account of the risks – for example something as simple as using email every day or taking a phone call can present a big cyber security risk to any business,” Commissioner Robyn Hobbs says.Two fingers drawn up as thieves

“Research shows around half of cyber security incidents target small businesses and almost 60 per cent of cyber crime impacts small and medium-sized businesses.

“Our survey shows two out of three small firms in NSW said they felt well-informed about the risks of cyber crime, and 80 percent of companies said they felt they could respond to a security breach – making them more confident than most ASX-listed companies.”

According to Ms Hobbs, a big need for many SMEs is risk management tools that help provide protection against cyber attack.

Thankfully there are measures that can be implemented to reduce the risk of attack from ransomware and other forms of cyber crime, such as those provided to My Business from former hacker turned global security consultant Kevin Mitnick.

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