Entrepreneurs need to be educated on how to protect their business from cyber-crime, but this means very little if their staff are not equally as careful, Jeremy Lang, Business Partner Limited regional general manager, said.
“Every cyber-attack begins with a weakness in human behaviour within an organisation,” he added.
South Africa-based Lang urged SMEs owners to avoid human error in this respect by making staff aware of all the types of cyber-crime that exist, as well as what warning signs to look out for, such as suspicious emails which may contain ransomware if opened.
Although cyber-attacks on bigger companies are more publicised, the National Cyber Security Alliance has revealed that more than 70% of attacks in America target small businesses.
South Africa was recently ranked as the third most exposed country to cyber-attacks by the Cyber Intelligence Research Group
“Small business owners and their staff should also be wary of downloading suspicious files, enabling macros on Microsoft word documents and opening a programme or document sent from an unknown source, and should steer clear from pirated software,” Lang explained.
“Regarding ransomware, which is spread through spam and phishing emails, if a computer becomes infected, immediately shut it down, disconnect it from the network and storage devices and take it to an IT professional.
“People need to be aware that although cyber-crime has been around for many years, it is expected to continue escalating, becoming more advanced with damages expected to cost the world US$6 trillion annually by 2021.
“As such, it is imperative for small businesses to stay on top of their game and ensure their systems and staff are always up-to-date regarding the latest cyber threats,” Lang concluded.
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