‘Alarming’ trend leaving SMEs exposed

‘Alarming’ trend leaving SMEs exposed

A global insurer has flagged an “alarming” trend among SMEs that is increasing their exposure to cyber crime, even with high-profile attacks such as the one that hit Uber.

Ridesharing platform Uber has attracted widespread criticism for trying to cover up a hack that affected as many as 57 million users worldwide. Notwithstanding such high-profile examples, it is the limited resources and supply chains with larger companies that make SMEs the most vulnerable to cyber attack.

The Allianz Global Assistance (AGA), part of the Allianz insurance group, revealed that Australian businesses have a clear disconnect between their intentions and actions around cyber security.

According to AGA, more than half (56 per cent) are underprepared should they fall victim to cyber crime, even with the issue being ranked third highest on their list of key business risks.

This is despite “a staggering 300 per cent increase” in the number of cyber attacks in 2016 alone.

“It is alarming to see that cyber crime is increasing, yet organisations that regularly review and test IT systems is decreasing: 73 per cent in 2015 to 57 per cent in 2016,” said AGA chief sales officer Brad Smith.

“The need for a strong cyber security measure has never been greater.”

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Such statistics give weight to the theory that hackers are increasingly preying on businesses suffering ‘security fatigue’.

Sean Cunningham of Uber Geeks added that victims of cyber crime – including those of more than 47,000 cyber incidents in Australia in the 2016-17 financial year – often feel powerless, thus having proper processes in place can reduce this sense of powerlessness from adversely affecting the business.

Earlier this year, an accounting tech consultant demonstrated the widespread deficiencies in cyber security frameworks among Australian businesses by hiring a professional hacker who was able to infiltrate nine of the 10 companies targeted.

‘Alarming’ trend leaving SMEs exposed
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