Cyber security threats on rise in small businesses due to lack of resources | The Financial Express

Cyber security threats on rise in small businesses due to lack of resources

According to research by cyber security firm Trellix, Indian SMBs faced an average of 37 cyber security incidents per day, amounting to a loss of a little over 7% in revenue over the last 12 months.

Cyber security threats on rise in small businesses due to lack of resources
With the intense use of AI, cyber threats are expected to increase.

Cyber security threats are on the rise in the country and small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have become a soft target due to their lack of preparedness and resources. Larger organisations have beefed up their security protocols, leaving limited opportunities for cyber criminals, say experts.

Industry surveys show that around 60% of SMBs are oblivious to the risk that cyberattacks pose for them and about 40% of them do not consider strengthening cybersecurity to be a priority.

According to research by cyber security firm Trellix, Indian SMBs faced an average of 37 cyber security incidents per day, amounting to a loss of a little over 7% in revenue over the last 12 months.

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“The SMB segment is a soft target for most cyber criminals given their lack of preparedness to address the rising cyber security challenges,” said Venkat Krishnapur, vice president of Engineering and managing director, Trellix India. “The lack of resources, the right technologies, the evolving nature of end-point devices, and the unavailability of skilled manpower makes smaller businesses more susceptible to cyber security threats.”

The trend of work-from-home (WFH) has also made companies and employees more vulnerable to cyber attacks. “The increased usage of varied end-point devices and the lack of a secure environment for users to work in (due to the WFH model) has given cybercriminals an increased number of avenues to launch their attacks from,” added Krishnapur.

“Cyber attacks in the SMB segment are expected to rise as there is a significant increase in the cloud and SaaS services adoption by them for extending their reach to consumers and offering digital payment options. Moreover, we can’t ignore the fact that cybersecurity awareness in the SMB market, especially in tier-2 and tier-3 cities, is lower, making them easy targets of cyberattacks,” said Rohit Aradhya, vice president and managing director, Engineering, Barracuda Networks, a network security company.

The rapid growth in the Indian digital payment industry has also resulted in an increase in cyberattacks. The Indian digital payment industry is expected to grow beyond $700 billion by the end of this year, according to data from the Ministry of Electronics and Information and Technology (MeitY). “However, this growth expands the threat landscape significantly and creates a fertile ground for hackers and attackers,” added Aradhya.

Ever since the pandemic struck, there has been a growing impetus for digital payments in India. Post Covid, most businesses, irrespective of their size, began readily accepting payments through digitised methods and consumers also reciprocated to the convenient, contactless payment methods. “However, lack of cybersecurity hygiene amongst a large number of digital payment users left them at high risk of cybercrimes such as UPI frauds, debit or credit card cloning, and those involving swapping of mobile SIM cards,” said Sanjay Katkar, joint MD and CTO, Quick Heal Technologies.

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