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SMEs face higher risk of cyber-attacks – Digicel Business

Published:Sunday | February 15, 2015 | 2:00 AM

ICT solutions provider Digicel Business is warning small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that they are most at risk for cyberattacks.

According to Digicel Business, studies show two-thirds of data breaches are reported by SMEs.

"The increase in the number of connected devices has contributed to more dangerous cyber threats emerging at a rapid pace; it can become very cost-prohibitive for companies to maintain a robust security network," said Ative Ennis, head of enterprise solutions at Digicel Business.

Hackers see smaller businesses as ideal targets because most SMEs don't have information technology managers, Internet safety rules or infrastructure to protect their networks.

"Large organisations typ-ically have to conform to higher compliance standards, which require them to implement sophisticated security solutions to protect their company data," said Ennis.

"But cyber criminals are also targeting SMEs even more nowadays, because they don't usually have very strong network security measures in place to neutralise the threats," added Ennis as he noted that cyber criminals make the most money for their efforts stealing information from SMEs.

"Nowadays, cyber criminals are more focused on acquiring data that can be commoditised," said Ennis. "Whether it is intellectual property, personal details of the company's customer base, original business content or other sensitive information, cyber criminals will go to extremes to get their hands on it."

Viruses can cause businesses to lose critical data and software, or expose confidential information, such as payroll and financials.

"The unprepared SME usually falls victim to these breaches because they are considerably less vigilant with their networks, therefore making it easier for the villains to break in. This new generation of cyber threats has long gone past stealing a computer; today's businesses have to contend with an ever-growing list of viruses, worms, software threats, mobile and social network attacks."

Ennis noted that more than half of SMEs believe they are too small to be a target of cyberattacks, according to a survey done by the National Cyber Security Alliance in 2012.

"No business is too small to be hacked - once you have data that can be traded for gain, you are at risk of having your company's data stolen."

According to Ennis, this is why Digicel Business has invested in providing a solution that is accessible by companies of all sizes.

"Our company has the resources to manage the network security of our business clients for them; therefore, access to capital and skilled resources are no longer a barrier to obtaining these services," he said.