Helping small businesses fight cybercrime benefits the global ecosystem

Cyber threats

(Kaitlyn Baker, Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Johnny Wood, Writer, Formative Content


Small businesses are the lifeblood of the global economy. They provide all manner of essential services – to individuals, to government, to larger organizations and to each other. For small businesses, when it comes to cybercrime the risks are great. The statistics show that 58% of cybercrime targets small businesses, with the global cost of cybercrime standing at $600 in 2018.

These figures may appear surprising, largely due to the fact that most media coverage of cyberattacks focuses on large businesses, which impact high numbers of customers. What many people don’t know, however, is that small businesses are often the easy way into larger enterprises. Attackers will, for example, gain access to the credentials of a small business in the supply chain of a large enterprise as a pathway into the larger company, and the breach will often go unnoticed until after the attack has been carried out.

 

Whether it is the primary target of an attack or a route into a larger organization, a small business can be crippled by a cyberattack. In the UK, it is estimated thatthe average direct cost of a breach for a small business is £25,700, while indirect costs, such as reputational damage, could be significantly greater. Recovery from an attack is difficult at best; at worst, it could mean shutting up shop. Ignoring cyber risk is not an option. Prevention is by far the best course of action.

But where to start? There is a huge amount of advice available about what to do, but it is often confusing and sometimes contradictory. The vast majority of small businesses lack the technical knowledge needed to prevent cyberattacks and do not have the financial resources to invest in enterprise-level security. Small business owners may wonder, “Why would anyone want to attack me?” or they may prefer to focus on generating revenue. But the truth is, not only do small businesses hold valuable information themselves but they can also act as a stepping stone into larger organizations that the hackers may ultimately be targeting.

Using the right tools

The GCA Cybersecurity Toolkit for Small Business enables smaller firms to navigate the confusing array of advice free of charge, to help them shore up their cyber defences and reduce their cyber risk.

The toolkit incorporates guidance from some of the world’s leading cybersecurity organizations, including the Center for Internet Security (CIS) Controls, the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre Cyber Essentials, and the Australian Cyber Security Centre’s Mitigation Strategies, in particular on how to:

• conduct inventories of devices and applications to ensure small business owners can more readily act to protect them;

• ensure that security settings of devices are effectively updated in order to identify any issues automatically;

• ensure that accounts are protected by strong passwords and two-factor authentication;

• access a range of tools that can be used to prevent common attacks and ensure devices are backed up in the event an attack does occur;

• protect company brand and ensure emails and websites are not being used fraudulently or for malicious purposes; and

• implement policies and recommendations for training employees to understand how to identify and avoid phishing emails.

Image: Wombat Security, 2018 State of the Phish Report

For example, there are specific toolkits on the following:

Prevent Phishing and Viruses – where tools included seek to help prevent these types of attacks, such as domain name system (DNS) security tools, which help prevent you getting to infected websites, and anti-virus software to help prevent viruses and other malicious software getting into your systems;

Defend Against Ransomware – tools are provided to assist businesses in setting backups for systems and data to ensure smooth recovery from attacks;

Protect Your Brand – this toolbox provides some easy-to-use tools that help protect company email domains from being used to carry out cyberattacks, as well as trademark monitoring tools to give visibility to how your brand might be being misused.

If implemented in full, the measures in the toolkit could have a significant impact on reducing cybercrime. The CIS Controls, for example, can provide effective defence against the most common cyberattacks (comprising some 85% of attacks). Providing small businesses with tools to protect themselves from ever-evolving cyber risks not only strengthens their individual businesses but also supports the health of the entire commercial ecosystem, including governments and larger companies.

The World Economic Forum and the Global Cyber Alliance will continue to work closely together on this initiative and others that can help fight cybercrime on a global scale.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

The online junk information grows, but so we shall

David Attenborough: The planet can’t cope with overpopulation

Changing for the change: Medicine in Industry 4.0

A Sting Exclusive: “Cybersecurity Act for safer European Industries and Consumers against cyberthreats”, by MEP Niebler

Tax revenues continue increasing as the tax mix shifts further towards corporate and consumption taxes

Brussels to tear down the trade wall with Mexico as opposed to Trump’s “walls”

An introduction to ‘Eco-Medical Literacy’ and its importance in shaping expert medical professionals

Thursday’s Daily Brief: Poverty report reveals ‘vast inequalities’, measles compounds DRC Ebola woes, Guterres visits Mozambique, Bangladesh update, freedom of expression online

Venezuelan exodus to Ecuador reaches record levels: UN refugee agency steps up aid

European Commission Joint Research Centre opens world-class laboratories to researchers

Nearly two-thirds of children lack access to welfare safety net, risking ‘vicious cycle of poverty’

Milk, fruits and vegetables distributed to schoolchildren thanks to EU programme

On Kristallnacht anniversary, UN chief urges renewed fight against ‘crime’ of anti-Semitism

Algorithmic warfare is coming. Humans must retain control

The green hydrogen revolution has started, and it won’t be stopped

Libyan national conference postponed, nearly 500,000 children at ‘direct risk’ from fighting around Tripoli

Prosecution of Paraguay judges over peasant ‘massacre’ ruling could undermine rule of law: UN expert

What the world will look like after the Iran and 5+1 deal; the US emerges as major power broker in Middle East

IMF: European banks do not perform their duty to real economy

Here are 3 alternative visions for the future of work

Western Balkans: MEPs take stock of 2018 progress

One migrant child reported dead or missing every day, UN calls for more protection

The impossible end of the war in Syria

Groundbreaking cancer-fighting drugs now included in updated UN list of essential medicines

5 things to know about the Western Balkans

In polarized America, a new divide looms

Consumers suffer three defeats

Climate change and its adverse impacts on health

‘Alarming levels’ of methamphetamine trafficking in Asia’s Mekong, UN warns

Commission goes less than mid-way on expensive euro

Youth unemployment: think out of the box

Eurozone business activity again on upwards path

Civil protection: Parliament strengthens EU disaster response capability

Draghi to hold on zero interest rates until he leaves ECB

Galileo and EGNOS programmes back in orbit powered with €70 billion

Apple’s tax avoidance scheme remains as creative as their new iPhone

Can We(esterners) ever understand (the) Chinese

Recognizing, protecting and empowering youth rights in Europe and the world

World’s Press Calls on the United Kingdom to Address Press Freedom Concerns

This plastic-free bag dissolves in water

Actions not words: what was promised at the UN’s landmark climate summit?

Violence on the rise in Darfur following Sudan military takeover, but UN-AU peacekeeping mission maintains ‘robust posture’

These refugee children have danced in the snow for the first time

The EU Parliament slams Commission on economic governance

2019 Innovation Scoreboards: The innovation performance of the EU and its regions is increasing

When nations work together, hope prevails and collective solutions can be found – UN chief tells Peace Forum, marking World War centenary in Paris

Violent disorder is on the rise. Is inequality to blame?

EU: Tax evasion and fraud flourish under political protection

How did Facebook fool the Commission that easily during the WhatsApp acquisition?

Parliament’s interparliamentary delegations established

‘Being open about my mental health created a better work culture’

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “Employment contracts today are a reducing share of the workforce”, scientists worry in Davos that the 4th industrial revolution threatens employment globally

Ahead of key UN-backed Marrakech migration conference, youth recount harrowing journeys

International tourism arrivals hit record high in 2017, UN agency reports

These are the world’s best universities by subject

Brexit and migration dominates the debate on October’s EU summit

Tusk fights back while charismatic Boris goes against everybody in Brussels pushing the UK to leave the EU now or never

7 surprising and outrageous stats about gender inequality

UN global education envoy urges new funding for ‘lost generation’ of children forced out of classrooms by conflict

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s