“Around 80% of SMEs in Malaysia do not invest in cyber security solutions, which is worrying as that could impact others in the eco-system when they are compromised. Most companies treat security as an afterthought or totally lack security strategies”
Dr Amirudin Abdul Wahab, CEO of CyberSecurity Malaysia*
To survive the cyber war, all organisations, regardless of size, must ensure their deployed appliances, security solutions and strategies are continually evaluated or optimised – and fuelled by real-time cyber threat intelligence. This will ensure that they are integrated, layered and versatile.
Cyber security is never finished. It is not another checkbox. It is a perpetual state of alertness, awareness, preparation and resolve.
“In light of the growing volume and sophistication of security breaches, it is no longer sufficient to consider cyber risk as a concern for the IT department. Today, cyber threats require board-level attention and organisations must plan for a coordinated recovery in the event of an attack, so that when breaches happen, they can get the business back to full strength, at full speed, and with their reputation intact.
Managing Editor, CIO Advisor APAC
Small and midsize businesses/enterprises (SMEs) are not immune to the threat of cyber attacks. In fact, the majority of all cyber attacks happen to SMBs. Many cyber security experts call these companies “soft targets” because SMEs tend to lack sufficient security measures and trained personnel to thwart a cyber attack. They are also attractive to hackers because they hold valuable data and can be leveraged to break into larger companies.
SMEs are also prime targets for ransomware, which encrypts company data until a ransom is paid. Why? Unlike many large companies, SMEs often neglect to use an offsite source or third-party service to back up their files or data. In the event of an attack, they almost always have to pay the ransom to decrypt their files.
According to ISACA’s 3rd Annual State of Cyber Security 2017 study:
- Four in five industry players believe that their enterprises will experience a cyber attack that year
- 53% of enterprises experienced more attacks compared to the previous year
The number of cyber attacks could actually be higher than Cybersecurity Malaysia’s Malaysia Computer Emergency Response Team’s over 10,000 reported incidents as many companies were not reporting these incidents in 2017.
It is evident that SMEs are impacted by cyber attacks and a certain level of awareness has been raised, but they will still require guidance from the government and cyber security experts on how to protect and mitigate the associated risks.
SMEs typically do not see IT or cyber security as an essential investment. Awareness is still key. It is imperative for organisations in Malaysia, especially SMEs, to look at cyber security as a business concern and ensure that their workforce and talent base are adequately equipped, and growing, with the right skills.
The big takeaways for tech leaders in SMEs are:
- Focus on continuous employee cyber security education to be more effectively prepared against real-world cyber attacks
- Focus on business continuity to reduce risks and corporate losses by investing in cyber security
“As the award-winning cyber security solution provider for the Malaysian market, my team has worked with a variety of businesses with complex, ever-changing security needs. We are committed to working closely with our clients to understand their security, compliance and cost concerns. This helps us deliver solutions that perfectly fit their specific security requirements while eliminating current vulnerabilities and potential threats.”
Lau Bik Soon, Group CEO of REDtone
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*The Star newspaper, 16 July 2018
Categories: Cyber security