Insiders – including employees, consultants, contractors and suppliers – are the lead cause of cyber incidents for SMEs. While it’s true that a high number of incidents can be attributed to hackers, the majority rely on an employee, for instance, taking action(e.g. opening an attachment in an email, clicking a link). In other words, your business is just one click away from being compromised.
To protect company data and systems from cyber attacks SMEs must devise, implement and enforce a formal security policy. The policy needs to specify the systems and data that need to be protected against attacks and who is responsible for protecting it.
Staff are key to maintaining a culture of security in your business. The contents of your cyber security policy will guide employees on the use of technology and online behaviour.
The easiest defence against malware and ransomware is having anti-malware and anti-virus programs installed, and regularly updated, to protect your data. Ensuring that all firewall security is enabled and updated consistently helps to safeguard all incoming and outgoing traffic and keeps employees from browsing dubious sites. Staff must be trained to take responsibility for their actions online. Refraining from clicking suspicious links, for example, is a simple way to avoid malware contamination.
Cyber security has become a fundamental element of business operations. Ever-changing and escalating cyber threats require investment in security policies, procedures and products no matter a company’s size, market or location.
Large organisations can afford dedicated and highly trained staff to focus on cyber security. SMEs often lack in-house experience and the necessary resources to invest in cyber security, making them vulnerable targets for hackers.
While there are countless ways for cyber criminals to launch a cyber attack and hacking techniques are continuously evolving, businesses and their employees should be aware of the most common types of attacks.
Short for"malicious software", malware covers any program introduced into the target’s computer with the intent to cause damage or gain unauthorised access.
Cyber attacks are a real risk for SMEs. A cyber attack is a breach of a computer system by an outside party with the aim of stealing sensitive data. Cyber criminals can target individuals, organisations, companies or governments. Cybercrime caused direct financial losses to NZ businesses of over $1.5M in April–June 2018 according to CERT NZ(Computer Emergency Response Team New Zealand).