Security awareness for SMEs: 4 key points

cyber security

Many SMEs believe that they have less chance of becoming a target of cybercrime than other, larger businesses.

However, many small to medium-sized businesses fall victim to cyberthreats each year, with many hackers seeing them as a way to access bigger companies through their data. Therefore, it is important that you have an in-depth knowledge of security awareness and its threats, whatever the size of your business.

1.  SMEs Aren’t Likely to Have Endpoint Security

The reduced size and focus of SMEs on cyberthreats mean that many will forego the latest updates to security that are available to them. However, rather than install antivirus software, there are now many more comprehensive options that will allow your business to stay fully protected and which will detect threats on an immediate basis. Endpoint security is one of the best security solutions that you can invest in, allowing your devices to be protected on networks and the cloud from large, modern threats such as organized crime and nation-states, which have rapidly developed to become more sophisticated in recent years. If you want to find out more, mcafee.com has a detailed guide to endpoint security and its benefits online.

2.  Some Ignore Security Training and Create Policies

SMEs also often fail to create a detailed security policy within their business or to promote security training for all new employees. However, training is important for SMEs as 88% of data breaches are due to human error, such as opening and downloading phishing emails. Implementing training will mean that your employees are aware of the latest threats to security and what forms they may take, and it is important that you are able to make this training relevant to the individual roles of your employees. Creating a policy can also help to boost awareness and the steps that need to be taken if an employee believes that an attack has taken place.

3.  Many Fail to Acknowledge Data Protection Laws

43% of businesses experienced cyberattacks within the last year, and yet just as many are not aware of the data protection laws surrounding their business or the implementation of these. The GDPR rules can lead to legal issues, which can potentially close SMEs, especially if they fail to take action after an attack, as they have an important responsibility for customer data. Not only this, but 50% of UK businesses did not implement the government’s 5-step recommendation on Cyber Essentials that could protect the data of both businesses and customers.

4.  Most Don’t Contact the Police

When attacks do happen, under a third are reported to the police,even if they have affected businesses in major ways. However, this makes SMEs an easy target for malicious organizations, ensuring that they will continue to be vulnerable in the future. Instead, you should always take immediate action when an attack occurs by contacting the police or another cybercrime organization who can advise you as to the next steps to take.