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These Are the Cyber Dangers Still Faced by SA’s SMEs

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Luis Monzon
Luis Monzon
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Internet security provider Kaspersky says that small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and other small businesses in South Africa are still facing many threats from cyber criminals and threat actors. What’s worse is that many small business owners do not use or believe it important to use cybersecurity services to secure their businesses.

As commerce is moving ever continually online, this disregard for IT security continues to be exploited by cybercriminals.

Kaspersky researchers assessed the dynamics of attacks on small and medium-sized businesses between January and April 2022 and the same period in 2021, to identify which threats pose an increasing danger to entrepreneurs.

Cyber Threats Still Being Faced by SMEs in South Africa:

In 2022, the number of Trojan-PSW (Password Stealing Ware) detections in South Africa increased by 69% when compared to the same period in 2021 – 20,922 detections in 2022 compared to 12,344 in 2021.

Trojan-PSW is a malware that steals passwords, along with other account information, which then allows attackers to gain access to the corporate network and steal sensitive information.

Another popular attack tool used on small businesses is Internet attacks, specifically, web pages with redirects to exploits, sites containing exploits and other malicious programs, botnet C&C centers, etc.

While the number of these attacks decreased in the first four-month of 2022 in South Africa by 13% (419,506 infections in 2022 compared to 483,846 infections in 2021), the amount of Internet attacks remains high.

“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,” comments Denis Parinov, security researcher at Kaspersky.

Many companies have introduced the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) as their workforces shift to remote, a technology that enables computers on the same corporate network to be linked together and accessed remotely, even when the employees are at home.

While the overall number of attacks on RDP has decreased in South Africa, globally this threat is still a challenge. For example, 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.

How Small Businesses Can Protect Themselves

Kaspersky says that having a special security solution enables attack visualisation and provides IT administrators with a convenient tool for incident analysis.

The faster they can analyse where and how a leak occurred, the better they will be able to solve any negative consequences.

Even small businesses with limited IT resources still need to protect all their working devices, including computers and mobile phones, from cyber threats.

The updated Kaspersky Small Office Security is a key tool for startups, small online stores, and local businesses to keep all of their work devices protected, safely transfer any valuable business-related files and avoid falling victim to ransomware.

“Cybercriminals are already way ahead of the curve, so much so that virtually every organisation will experience a breach attempt at some point. 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,” concludes Parinov.

Edited by Luis Monzon
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