Top cybersecurity trends small businesses should be paying attention to this year | The Financial Express

Clipped from:

Technology for MSMEs: For large organisations, cyber attacks may cost them their reputation as well as business to some extent. But, for smaller organisations, such an attack threatens their survival.

Top cybersecurity trends small businesses should be paying attention to this yearAccording to CyberPeace Foundation, 43 per cent of all cyberattacks target small businesses and startups.

By Dipesh Kaura

Technology for MSMEs: In 2022 there was a growing awareness of cyber threats. However, people are yet to realise that when it comes to cyberattacks, size doesn’t matter. Small businesses and start-ups are just as much at risk as big brands and names. Or rather, they face greater risk in terms of the potential to cause damage. We bring you the top cybersecurity trends that small businesses should be paying attention to in 2023.

The world is expected to be hit by an oncoming recession this year and is looking East for answers to rising costs and the need for growth. All eyes are on India, the 5th largest economy in the world. Our economy, with its large pool of customers as well as talent, is set to mature over the coming decade. For small players and start-ups in India, the opportunity has never been bigger. And with improved access to tools and technology as well as talent, the ease of competing with global peers and giants has never been better.

Indian MSMEs contribute 33 per cent to the country’s GDP, making this sector the focus of the government’s push for digital India. Widespread technology adoption will make it more globally competitive as well as more efficient. The strategic nature of these plans is on point, provided we proceed with caution with respect to the adoption of technology.

There are two sides to the technology adoption equation: the actual technology in question and the security aspect regarding its use. Often, small businesses only look at the technology side of this equation due to their need for speed and their limited access to key resources of finance, human capital, and more.

Also read: How KYC compliance and capacity building can benefit MSME sector with cybersecurity, stop online fraud

In 2023, we cannot afford to let this continue because 2022 has been India’s most challenging year in terms of cybersecurity. India has witnessed 95 per cent year-on-year growth in attacks on government agencies. Also, the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) had received and tracked as many as 12.67 lakh cyberattack incidents by November 2022. According to CyberPeace Foundation, 43 per cent of all cyberattacks target small businesses and startups. Moreover, the IBM Security Data Breach Report of 2022 pegs India’s average data breach cost at a whopping ₹17.6 crore for the fiscal year of 2022.

For large organisations, such attacks may cost them their reputation as well as business to some extent. But, for smaller organisations, such an attack threatens their survival. A recent report has said that around 46 per cent of SMEs are clueless about cybersecurity and nearly 60 per cent of such organisations find themselves out of business within six months of facing such attacks.

Thus, cybersecurity is set to be one of the main buzzwords for Indian businesses in 2023 and onwards. Firms investing in enterprise cybersecurity can protect their systems and IT infrastructure from the perils of ransomware and malware attacks, phishing and smishing, and more. It is possible to choose a globally proven cybersecurity suite tailored to the needs of a small business, which requires no IT skills to set up and works across a variety of networks and devices.

Build resistance against ransomware, malware, DDoS type of attacks – As ransomware and phishing as well as social engineering attacks rise in sophistication and complexity, a commonly used strategy of endpoint protection (EPP) now needs to evolve to extended protection and defense. Simply put, your IT infrastructure is at high risk of targeted attacks that can evade EPP-based security. To address this situation, you need extended detection and response which goes beyond endpoint-based actions. Choose a solution that gives your systems this form of protection.

Invest in cloud-based solutions: Cloud-based solutions are great at keeping costs under control. Cloud-based systems also mean the interconnectedness of key business data. If one is breached, the threat spreads over the entire cloud. Thus, cloud vulnerability continues to be a key focus area. Many small businesses today are ‘born-in-the-cloud’. Add to this a growing culture of remote and hybrid work, where a business’ core data and systems are routinely exposed to threats across a variety of devices and platforms which may or may not have been configured to ward off such threats. In this scenario, companies can look to top-notch cybersecurity solutions with specific cloud capabilities.

Also read: AI automated customer contact centers: Building cyber-secure fortresses for MSMEs

Increase vigilance on mobile as an entry point for attackers: Smartphones are increasingly proving to be a key platform and an endpoint for most users. Small businesses, particularly, use mobile app-based growth strategies for greater efficiency and are specifically prone to smishing. This is leading many organisations to refine their approach to cybersecurity by looking at specific solutions for the mobile user. Extended detection and response are key to warding off such attacks.

IoT and other advanced technology: 5G rollout and IoT propagation will go hand in hand. It will propel the industry to pursue large-scale automation as well as large-scale data that is strategic to business security and growth. Both factors represent vulnerabilities from the point of view of cybersecurity. Organisations, whether they are consumers of these solutions or providers, they both need to double down on cybersecurity measures as an integral part of the IoT adoption and integration taking place. For maximum security, businesses can choose a solution that provides security at the gateway level – the one link connecting the device and the cloud platform in use.

Addressing the human element: With financial institutions leading the way on spreading awareness regarding internet-driven fraud, social engineering and phishing and smishing attacks, the general internet user is becoming increasingly aware of the need for safer digital spaces, transactions, and services. People are becoming more cautious in their behaviour and investing in cybersecurity solutions for individual devices – from mobile phones and computers at work to other smart devices. In effect, it is creating a culture of cybersecurity, which will reflect in safer behaviour online. Businesses have a real opportunity to capitalise on this wave of awareness by equipping their employees with the necessary safety training and tools and adding the human edge to their cybersecurity programmes.

Dipesh Kaura is General Manager for South Asia, Kaspersky. Views expressed are the author’s own.

The 2nd edition of FE Aspire’s SMExports Summit is here. Register now to book your seats! 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s