Securing small businesses from cyber attacks

Why are SMBs increasingly coming under attack from cyber criminals, and how can they stay safe? Davey Winder investigates...

Mike Foreman, senior vice president at AVG Technologies, says phishing attacks against SMBs are still proving hugely popular.

For instance, his firm's research shows that 56.9 per cent of SMBs have received fraudulent emails asking for money, 36.8 per cent have received fake tax rebate emails and 12.3 per cent have been directed to a fake government web page.

SMB security timeline

Chris Wysopal, co-founder and chief technology officer of application testing company Veracode, sets out a timeline for preparing a small business security strategy.

In the first three months

*Identify the stakeholders needed to articulate & execute your application security strategy.

*Educate your teams on the threat landscape and build an application security training program.

*Identify the portfolio of applications that are critical to your business.

In the next six months

*Assess business risk across your app portfolio.

*Establish security policy to comply with regulatory or customer requirements, and ultimately cover the business critical apps.

*Independently verify the security of the software that you sell, build, purchase and procure.

Clickjacking, which involves tricking people into clicking links directing them to malware installations or fake websites, is another popular form of attack used against SMBs.

Advertisement - Article continues below

"The majority of SMBs are easily tricked into clicking on these links," Foreman adds, "with only 30.5 per cent exercising caution about clicking on links claiming to be HMRC."

SMB threat protection

The biggest problem for SMBs is their size, in terms of the amount they spend on security and the breadth of their in-house knowledge about protecting themselves against cyber attacks.

"The same rules apply for any business. They need to decide which assets are critical, then put policies and solutions in place to protect those assets," says CheckPoint's Greer-King.

"Users also need educating on potential risks and threat vectors, and how their behaviour can mitigate risks. The smaller business has one key advantage here: they have fewer employees to educate."

James Potter-Irwin, a senior consultant at Plan-Net, sums it up best. "If you don't make yourself the easy target, the criminal will most likely look elsewhere for their victim."

Featured Resources

The essential guide to cloud-based backup and disaster recovery

Support business continuity by building a holistic emergency plan

Download now

Trends in modern data protection

A comprehensive view of the data protection landscape

Download now

How do vulnerabilities get into software?

90% of security incidents result from exploits against defects in software

Download now

Delivering the future of work - now

The CIO’s guide to building the unified digital workspace for today’s hybrid and multi-cloud strategies.

Download now

Most Popular

Microsoft Azure

Microsoft, not Amazon, is going to win the cloud wars

30 Nov 2019
Amazon Web Services (AWS)

What to expect from AWS Re:Invent 2019

29 Nov 2019

Raspberry Pi 4 owners complain of broken Wi-Fi when using HDMI

29 Nov 2019
Google Android

Samsung Galaxy A90 5G review: Simply the best value 5G phone

22 Nov 2019