SMEs are now reported to account for 58% of malware attacks

Ross MacKenzie
Categories: Technology

Summer in the Gulf is traditionally a time for slowing down, taking stock and getting ready for the business season to come.

Many SMEs view it as the only time they get to seriously review their progress, pain points and plan solutions. Security should be top of the summer review agenda. Why? Because, even though analysts1 are tipping the Gulf’s SME sector as having a potential of US$ 920 billion with 156% growth in the next five years, hopes could be dashed through growing cyber security threats.

The SME sector is now the darling of Gulf states, particularly Saudi Arabia and the UAE which are prioritising it with new initiatives to boost its national economic share. Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 targets an increased 15% GDP contribution from SMEs while the UAE’s Vision 2021 envisions the sector growing its non-oil GDP input by 10%.

Gulf states see the SME sector as key to providing new employment opportunities for job seekers in a region where more than half the population is under the age of 30. But the advantages SMEs are now benefitting from could be squandered as cyber criminals target this sector above enterprises.

Many SMEs are labouring under the illusions that they’re a) too small for any hacker attention and b) that strong passwords will keep them out of harm’s way. They are wrong on both counts. Firstly, SMEs are now reported to account for 58% of malware attacks2 and secondly, strong passwords are important, but two-factor authentication and data monitoring are needed to keep hackers at bay.

Despite transaction ever more business online, SMEs tend to have a lax approach to security with weak password strategies and encryption technology. Indeed 73% of SME passwords are duplicate3 and 40% of those are eventually compromised4.

This all means that SMEs are highly vulnerable, and hackers are very much aware of this. So, this summer ask yourself: Do you have significant amounts of important data behind an easy to access network? If your answer is yes, it’s time for a security assessment to see if you are up to speed or what you really need to do to get there.

Cobweb can assist with the security assessment and you couldn’t be in better hands because we understand SMEs, their challenges and needs because we were once an SME! Here are some the issues we will address:

  • Are you secured against any rogue staff who have network access, confidential data or admin accounts?

  • Are you vulnerable to spear phishing where an employee could be tricked into clicking a malicious link in an email? It’s an easy way for cybercriminals to infect businesses with malware.

  • Are your staff security aware? Without security education, any measures in place are undermined. Remember, analysts cite human error as responsible for 18% of data breaches in Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Cobweb’s security assessment will answer all the above and then help you plan to address any shortfalls, including formulating a secure password strategy and moving to cloud services such as Office 365 and Azure which will keep you secure and productive. We’ll ensure you are bang up to date with identify and access management, email and website security, backup and recovery and strong endpoint security. We can also help with, or even turnkey implement, any transition to the cloud. It will be money well spent when judged against the fact that data breaches cost companies in Saudi Arabia and the UAE US $163 per lost, or stolen, record!

Our plan will also take into consideration any mobile workforce needs ensuring your staff can work anywhere, anytime from any device, boosting productivity and creating a better flexible working environment. This is vital going forward with the global mobile workforce forecast to amount to 2 billion people by 20205. And what’s more, we promise the security solutions we put forward will be individual to your business and once they’re in place, you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing we supply 24/7 support.

So, have a great summer and make it productive by calling for your security assessment now! Your 2019/2020 business season success – and beyond - could depend on it.
1 MENA Research Partners

2 Verizon’s 2018 Data Breach Investigations Report

4 DARKready Data Breach Record No. 8 2017

5 Strategy Analysts forecast 2016-2020

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