Do SMEs take cybersecurity seriously?

Do SMEs take cybersecurity seriously?

Swelling numbers of online users have seen a corresponding increase in cyber criminals who have gone a step further and evolved to increase their chances of successful hacks. Investing in digitalization has seen a number of small businesses start seeing profits as the economy recovers from the vagaries of Covid. However, this has brought on a new challenge as according to Kaspersky, there has been a 47 percent increase in Internet attacks in 2022 so far among small businesses.

According to research from the global leader in cybersecurity solutions and services states that there was an increase in internet attacks, as 130,111 infections were detected in the first months of 2022 as compared to 88,455 infections in the same period in 2021. As small businesses recover and digitize, business owners have invested in online marketing, increasing production and getting their cashflows back on track. Amid progress, many have disregarded cybersecurity and its importance while others, despite noticing how critical it is, find it complicated and thus, mostly brush it off. 

As SMEs come online, they have fallen victim to web pages with redirects to exploits, malicious programs and web sites including exploits. 

Apart from Internet attacks, Trojan password stealing ware has also become popular among hackers targeting Kenyans. In the first four months of 2022, 12,339 Trojan PSW detections were recorded compared to 10,934 detections in same period in 2021. With Trojan PSW being a malware that steals passwords, along with other account information, allowing the hacker to gain access to the corporate network and steal sensitive information, it has been popular tool especially with remote working.

Remote working became popular during the pandemic as businesses with the ability were able to allow their employees to work from home. This saw Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), a technology that enables computers on the same corporate network to be linked together and accessed remotely, even when the employees are at home, become quite popular. 

However, despite being an excellent solution, it came with its challenges. Having evolved with the times, hackers learned to target the technology, in fact, globally, there was rise in attacks on RDP. For instance, in the first trimester of 2021 there were about 47.5 million attacks in the U.S., whereas for the same period in 2022 the number had risen to 51 million. However, in Kenya the case was different as there was a slight decline.

There is a need for cybersecurity, especially by SMEs, it not only keeps the business secure but also information of clients. With an up-to-date cyber security, hackers are kept at bay and even in the case of a breach, it makes it easier and faster to remedy the gap. Despite, the resources available, every SME needs to protect all their working devices, including computers and mobile phones, from cyberthreats.

According to Denis Parinov, security researcher at Kaspersky, for small companies today, it’s not a matter of whether a cybersecurity incident will happen but when. Having trained staff and an educated IT-specialist is no longer a luxury but a must-have part of your business development.  “With the shift to remote working and the introduction of numerous advanced technologies in the daily operations of even small companies, security measures need to evolve to support these sophisticated setups,” he added. (

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