BusinessDay

SMEs hardest hit by cybercrime, as 60% of Nigerian businesses suffer attacks

Cybercrime has become the greatest threat to every company and country in the world, as it is estimated that 54 percent of companies globally experience at least one cyber-attack every year.

The numbers are even higher in Nigeria, where about 60 percent of firma are affected by cyber attacks. Shockingly, only 38 percent of global organisations claim they have the infrastructure to handle a sophisticated cyber-attack.

Meanwhile, 43 percent of cyber-attacks target small businesses, but only 14 percent of these SMEs have effective infrastructure to mitigate cyber risks, vulnerabilities and attacks.

These mind bugling statistics were revealed at the one-day Sidmach/ Sophos Lunch and Learn Event held in Lagos on Thursday, February 28, 2019.

According to Jimi Falaiye, country manager of Sophos (Nigeria), businesses are often concerned about security of data; unfortunately, 95 percent of security breaches are due to human error.

“Cyber-criminals and hackers will infiltrate your company through your weakest link, which is almost never in the IT department”, he said, adding that it takes organisations an average of 191 days to identify data breaches.

Falaiye further revealed that 92.4 percent of malware is delivered via email, even as total cost for cybercrime committed globally added up to over $1 trillion dollars in 2018.

Sharing more facts about cyber crimes, particularly as ransomware affects Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs), Nathanael Odofin, market intelligence and research analyst at Sidmach Technologies Nigeria Limited, said that 22 percent of organisations had to cease business operations immediately because of ransomware.

“Reports reveal that 81 percent of businesses have experienced ransomware; 66 percent have suffered a data breach; 35 percent were victims of ransomware,” Odofin said.

He however said that anti-virus is not enough because most of them are reactive in nature.

“Antivirus protects you from classic dangers like known viruses, Trojans, and worms – ‘known’ being the operative word here. An Antivirus cannot protect without a signature database for detection

“But, most antivirus programs are reactive. A study has found that a typical antivirus will only stop 30 percent to 50 percent of new malware when it first appears. Unless the antivirus software has seen a particular threat in the past, it won’t necessarily protect your computer,” Odofin added.

Referring to Verizon Data Breach Investigation Report, he reminded businesses in Nigeria that over half of all cyber breaches in 2017 included the use of malware. Malware activities include: stealing credit card details; revealing passwords and spreading spam.

“It is why the fortification of antivirus merely is not enough. You need to bolster this layer of defense with another layer (like an onion) – that of an antimalware,” he said.

The cyber security experts advised participants and other organisations in Nigeria to deploy software security solutions, which Sophos has developed to “keep a very close eye on what is happening inside your system, blocking both known and unknown malware threats. It also safeguards you against any potentially harmful programs”.

Earlier, Peter Arogundade, managing director of Sidmach Technologies, said that the Lunch and Learn event was aimed at assisting IT experts in different organisations to understand cost effective security dynamics, and tools that mitigate latest threats, while receiving insights to have complete visibility and control of their IT Infrastructure.

Arogundade who was represented at the event by Olanrewaju Adelanwa, head of marketing, at Sidmach, described the sessions as crucial as they offered the experts new perspective on better architectures for end-to-end networks threats management with a one-stop-solution that Sophos brings.

“We are not referring to security for just the hardware, the emails and everything within your network protocol that requires protection. This event, basically, was organised to bring these professionals together and expose them to insights about what is happening in Nigeria and across the world,” he said.

Jumoke Akiyode-Lawanson

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