For the most part, multinational corporations and other large businesses and/or enterprises are seen as the only ones who need cybersecurity awareness and training. This is because they are far more likely to be targeted by hackers and other threats, as they have more to lose than a newer, smaller company or organisation. What may surprise most people is that this is not actually the case.
Any small business and/or start-up is actually just as vulnerable to cyber threats. Wondering why? It’s actually pretty basic. All the resources that bigger corporations or organisations have actually allowed them to get more resources and heighten awareness about cybersecurity. They are able to better equip and train their staff, as well as secure their assets by implementing strong solutions.
What makes start-ups or small businesses attractive targets for cybercriminals?
On the other end of things, SMEs and small businesses don’t have as much knowledge or know-how. Their budget is also quite limited, spent on things other than cybersecurity which comes across as a secondary priority. This makes them seem like easy enough targets for cybercriminals, who can hijack their businesses for a quick buck.
There are several factors why are considered easy targets, including but not limited to:
- A sheer lack of budget, expertise, and training to provide intensive security defenses
- Employees being hardly aware, if at all, about cybersecurity and the possibility of things like LinkedIn fraud
- Endpoints not being secured properly
- Not having any specialists that are dedicated to online brand protection and cybersecurity overall
- Not having risk awareness
- Not having risk management procedures and policies
- Out-of-date security defenses being in place
Why should SMEs and start-ups prioritise cybersecurity despite their limited budget?
Cybercriminals actively look for convenient prey
Since bigger companies or organisations can afford to keep their security systems updated and well-maintained, cybercriminals go for more convenient preys. Small- and medium-sized enterprises and start-ups alike come about nearly every day. This means that exploitation is more likely due to the large market.
Your business has information that is essentially priceless
Hackers are usually fishing for data that they can use for monetary gain. This includes personal and financial information such as banking details and social security numbers. Even the smallest of companies or organisations have a database of their employees’ information which is quite sensitive. Of course, your business will also eventually gather information from your customers. Banking credentials and credit card information are common targets for criminals. This means the database of your business needs to be as secure as possible at all times.
Cybersecurity training and awareness are commonly perceived to be best left for larger companies or organisations and big-name brands. The thought behind that is they have far more to lose. Small- and medium-sized enterprises and start-ups are just as prone, if not more, since they overlook the importance of cybersecurity. Two of the biggest reasons why start-ups and SMEs should prioritise cybersecurity were already shared here. Watch this space for more!
Looking for brand protection? Contact FraudWatch International today! We are a leading brand protection company that has been protecting client brands around the world since 2003.