“As long as a business operates within the cyber world, it will continue exposing itself to the threats of the dark web.” Falgun Rathod says.
With most small businesses adopting technology for their operations, marketing and sales, it isn’t shocking to learn that 74 per cent SMBs have fallen prey to cyber-attacks in the last year. As per the independent survey recently conducted by CISCO on 3700 businesses and IT leaders, as much as 62 per cent of these victims have suffered financial losses of more than 3.5crores. Moreover, the majority of the victims have also suffered a loss of Intellectual Property, financial information and invaluable data.
“As the WFH culture kicked in last year, the line between using systems for office use and personal use has faded, unfortunately leading to an increase in cyber-crime incidents in the last one year,” says Falgun Rathod, one of India’s top ten ethical hackers and a cyber-security expert. “In comparison to large corporations, SMBs and start-ups appear to be more vulnerable targets for the cybercriminals as many do not have processes, policies, and compliances for cyber usage in place.”
To stay competitive and relevant, every small business is going online these days. Hence, the need for cyber-security policies and implementation is not just an added advantage anymore but is a basic business need. With organizations going mobile and their data being accessed at different geographies at different points, constant cyber monitoring and maintaining robust system security is now crucial for the growth and success of the business.
While cyber-crimes such as malware attacks and phishing topped the list last year, experts say, that these are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to threats that the dark web can pose. With the digital transformation of data and communication, SMBs now suffer from data theft and loss of IP and financial information.
“Today data is the most valuable commodity for any business. It takes intensive efforts and time for organizations to build credible data which they are lawfully bound to keep private and secured. A breach, leak, or loss in the same can not only lead to a sudden collapse of the entire business, but the financial implications and legal ramifications can prove to be mentally traumatic for entrepreneurs.” Rathod adds.
Experts predict that the percentage of cybercrimes is only going to grow with each passing year. While large corporations, either with the help of external cyber security agencies or inhouse experts, are already ensuring standardized security protocols and compliances to ward off potential cyber threats, it is time SMBs gear up their systems and processes by carrying out regular security audits, especially by outsourcing an expert.
Few viable solutions would be to standardize security protocols, carry out maintenance routines, restrict access to backbends, CAPTCHA tests to login pages, firewall filtration, regular anti-virus and malware scans, as well password-protected accesses. One of the most recommended ways to tighten cyber security for SMBs is to engage ethical hackers.
“Engaging ethical hackers to check for the possible vulnerabilities on your website, e-commerce platform, web application, and in your digital infrastructure and system can prove to help secure your business against potential risks and resolve them before it gets too late,” Rathod suggests.