‘Security by obscurity’ can’t hack it, Kaspersky study warns small firms

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Friday, August 8, 2014


SMALL enterprises are encouraged to invest in cybersecurity, after a study by Kasperky Lab revealed they are “soft targets” of cybercriminals.

Based on the Kaspersky Lab’s 2014 Information Technology (IT) Security Risks summary report, most small businesses with fewer than 25 employees viewed IT strategy as their least concern.

Only 19 percent reported IT strategy as one of their top two strategic concerns, compared to 30 percent of businesses with more than 100 employees, and 35 percent of enterprises with 5,000 employees or more.

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Kaspersky Lab is a secure content and threat management solutions provider.

It also found out small businesses, which include startups struggling to establish themselves, most often don’t have the money or IT expertise to properly implement vital IT components like security software.

“Every successful business needs an efficient IT strategy. Unfortunately, very small businesses are not capable to correctly implement IT elements such as security software because they may lack the expertise or financial resources,” said Jimmy Fong, Channel Sales director of Kaspersky Lab Southeast Asia, in a press statement.

Citing estimates by the International Data Corp., Kaspersky Lab also revealed that 80 million businesses worldwide with fewer than 10 employees believe that they are too small to be targeted by cybercriminals.

It noted that most small businesses adopt a “security by obscurity” mentality, believing that they are too small to be targeted by cybercriminals and don’t have any data that cybercriminals would want. However, according to the Verizon’s 2013 Data Breach Investigations Report, 193 of the 621 breaches analyzed, or more than 30 percent, occurred at companies with 100 or fewer employees.

Kaspersky Lab warns that cybercriminals will also need less effort to successfully attack numerous small enterprises instead of a single larger business. Unlike larger enterprises with sufficient funds to recover from a cyberattack, small businesses may be driven to bankruptcy due to costs of lost customer data, significant time spent offline, and associated clean-up expenses.

According to the Kaspersky Lab report, 32 percent of small businesses that lost business data from a cyberattack reported “malware” as the cause.

“Small business owners must realize that they are also attractive targets for cyberattacks because they may not have a proper anti-malware strategy or layered protection and they hold crucial financial and customer data,” Fong said.

The company noted that the insights of the study have huge implications to countries like the Philippines.

“Statistics show that micro and small businesses form virtually the entire Philippine economy. Just imagine the economic impact if a significant number of these enterprises are affected by cyberattacks,” Fong said.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 09, 2014.

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