How to thwart cyber criminals seeking to target smaller businesses

The world of cybercrime is undergoing a significant change. As the world becomes more digitized, the threat of cyberattacks is growing for businesses, big and small. Surprisingly, cybercriminals are increasingly targeting small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). In fact, 43% of cyberattacks are aimed at SMBs. The reason behind this trend is the assumption that smaller businesses have not invested in the security technology required to thwart attacks. Cybercriminals are rational, profit-driven, and highly organized, and they know that attacking easy targets can yield a bigger pay-day.

The stakes for both large and small organizations are high. The reputational damage and financial losses resulting from attacks and breaches mean that managers need to shift perspective and realize that the costs involved are more than just a technology investment. So, for both large and small organizations, there is no alternative to sustained investment in cyber defenses. According to an IDC study, investing in cyber defense should be a part of the company’s mindset and culture.

The threat landscape is continuously evolving with the introduction of remote working and cloud-based software. This makes the task of protecting assets more challenging for companies. Moreover, cybersecurity priorities often compete with a lengthy list of maintenance and support requests, making it even more difficult for IT teams to keep up.

For SMBs, the job of cyber defense can be broken down into two key areas. Firstly, there is a need to minimize existing vulnerabilities by applying patches and upgrades before vulnerabilities can be exploited. Secondly, business managers need to identify where existing protections need improvement. There are four key areas where it’s critical to be running countermeasures that keep pace with known and emerging threats:

Multi-factor identification: Verify every device that tries to access your applications using security solutions like Cisco Duo.

Single Sign-On (SSO): Allowing employees to use a single set of credentials to log into all applications means they no longer have to recall multiple passwords, some of which inevitably get recorded in insecure ways. SSO also simplifies the job of ensuring that ex-employees no longer have access to your systems.

Endpoint Protection and Virtual Private Networks (VPNs): These solutions allow remote employees to establish secure connections with the office-based network.

Fortunately, companies like Cisco offer products and services specifically designed to help small and medium-sized businesses secure themselves against rapidly evolving cyber threats. Their products and services offer best-in-class threat protection, market-leading performance, and competitive pricing. To learn more about which solutions can suit your business, you can use Cisco’s Product Selector tool.

In conclusion, investing in cybersecurity is crucial for businesses of all sizes. It is not just a technology investment but a necessary requirement to protect the organization’s assets, reputation, and financial stability.

Key Takeaways:

1. Cybercriminals are increasingly targeting small and medium-sized businesses due to the assumption that they lack adequate security measures.
2. Cybersecurity should be a part of the company’s culture and mindset, requiring sustained investment.
3. Businesses need to address existing vulnerabilities and improve existing protections to keep pace with emerging threats.
4. Companies like Cisco offer specific products and services designed to help smaller businesses secure themselves against cyber threats.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What percentage of cyberattacks are aimed at SMBs?
43% of cyberattacks are aimed at SMBs.

2. What are the key areas where countermeasures are essential to keep pace with known and emerging threats?
Multi-factor identification, Single Sign-On, and Endpoint Protection and Virtual Private Networks are key areas where countermeasures are essential.

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