As the global community commemorates the United Nations ‘Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Day’, Kaspersky urges African SMEs to prioritize cybersecurity, emphasizing the potentially devastating consequences of data and system breaches.
With over 44 million SMEs in sub-Saharan Africa, constituting 90% of enterprises and providing significant employment, many neglect essential cybersecurity practices. Cybercriminals persistently target SMEs, employing various tactics such as exploiting vulnerabilities, phishing emails, and deceptive links.
The latest Kaspersky report reveals consistent encounters with malware and unwanted software among SME employees.
To address these challenges, Kaspersky recommends five key measures:
Endpoint Security: crucial for businesses as laptops, smartphones, and other devices used by employees are vulnerable to cyber threats. Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) technology safeguards these access points, utilizing advanced detection engines, real-time analytics, and the ability to detect and respond to threats. Applied threat intelligence and visibility into endpoints are essential for comprehensive protection.
2. VPN (Virtual Private Network): A VPN provides a secure connection over the internet, safeguarding data from cybercriminals. It is essential for SMEs with remote employees, especially when using vulnerable public internet connections. A VPN creates a secure connection that separates hackers from valuable data.
3. Cybersecurity awareness training: Continuous training reduces the risk of successful cyberattacks. Educating employees to identify phishing scams, use strong passwords, and follow secure practices is crucial. Interactive training programs like the Kaspersky Automated Security Awareness Platform can effectively instill the importance of cybersecurity and provide advice.
4. Backups: Regular backups are vital for quick recovery and minimal disruption in the event of a cyberattack. Storing backups off-site or in the cloud ensures maximum protection.
5. Cloud security: With increasing cloud adoption, securing cloud environments is critical. SMEs should choose trusted cloud service providers and implement cloud-specific security measures to protect data. SMEs have the responsibility to secure their data while migrating to the cloud.
“The digital landscape is complex and always evolving. By focusing on these five critical areas, SMEs can protect themselves and their customers from a significant number of potential cyber threats. Cybersecurity is an investment that pays off by safeguarding a company’s reputation and customer trust,” Opil concludes.
Kaspersky encourages SMEs to reevaluate and enhance their cybersecurity measures, contributing to a secure and resilient digital Africa.