Cyber ​​Security for SMEs: How Can You Protect Yourself Effectively?

Every week, an average of 294 companies in the Netherlands are victims of cyber attacks, and it is estimated that a successful attack costs companies around 67,000 euros. Especially employees in small businesses are at risk of falling victim to attacks from social engineering.

But what is at stake, and how can companies take precautions to protect themselves against these cyber risks?

SMEs: Top targets for cyber attackers

Cybercriminals are well aware that SMEs are an interesting target. SMEs often act as subcontractors or suppliers to large companies and can be even more targeted in supply chain attacks. By infiltrating and attacking a company in the same supply chain, a much larger network of suppliers is threatened, making them extra vulnerable. A recent survey by Kaspersky showed that 27 percent of Benelux companies have seen an increase in cyber attacks in the last 12 months, especially during the supply chain crisis. Therefore, it is necessary to make sure that a supplier has the correct security protocols in place to avoid problems later on.

The same survey shows that 72 percent of Benelux companies believe that cybersecurity is one of their biggest concerns. Still, 1 in 10 companies say they are not investing enough to prevent future attacks. Some executives feel that their cybersecurity is okay, that they do not need to take out cyber insurance. And when they do, they often do not understand what the company needs, such as BCP (Business Continuity Plan), backup, staff awareness and required patching. Some do not understand all these requirements, others do not have the capacity to meet them.

The budget undoubtedly plays an important role in this and the increased prices of cyber insurance obviously do not help in the decision-making process. But having insurance is an important security aspect for any business. Cyber ​​insurance companies will need to adapt to this new market, be able to provide a tailor – made offer to SMEs and assist and guide SMEs in this choice.

Competitiveness and fragile structures

A large organization can survive an attack, but what about a smaller structure?

A cyber attack will be relatively more expensive for a small or medium business than for a large business that is likely to have a security team in place to remedy the situation as quickly as possible. SMEs, on the other hand, will feel the full impact of a potential business closure and subsequent loss of revenue.

By prioritizing IT security, companies improve their competitiveness. They can guarantee performance by anticipating or preventing loss of income. Implementing a security policy also means protecting the organization’s reputation. An attacked company can lose customers, have to cancel orders, suffer image damage, lose confidence and thus play into the hands of competitors. A cyber attack has a direct impact on a company’s revenue, employment and survival.

Security solutions

The cost of a cyberattack is high, but the cost of doing nothing is just as high, if not even higher. However, companies tend to think in terms of profit, investment or ROSI (Return on Security Investment). This opposition between “risk culture” and “productivity culture” is meaningless. This mindset needs to change and one must realize that safety is one of the prerequisites for productivity.

Good security requires anticipating potential risks. Therefore, a partnership with a security solutions provider will help SMEs choose the technical solutions that suit their unique infrastructure. There are tools that can be put to use at an early stage to prevent and mitigate risks. These solutions should combine the power of EDR (Endpoint Detection & Response) and the effectiveness of advanced antivirus in a single solution. It can detect and neutralize known and unknown threats in real time without human intervention.

By combining the best of both technologies, it leverages many advanced features including CTI, sandboxes, an antivirus database and artificial intelligence.

Good cyber hygiene

In addition to the right solutions and the usual points of interest, such as a password manager, two-factor authentication and restriction of access rights, we at TEHTRIS also recommend backing up important data, developing a business continuity plan and raising employee awareness of cyber risks.

SMEs are increasingly aware of cybersecurity, but companies still need help to make the security culture habit and obvious. We work every day to adapt our products and solutions to all structures, small and large.

By choosing the right security partner, SMEs have a team nearby who can guide them while providing them with a flexible solution.

Author: Elena Poincet, CEO of TEHTRIS

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