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Three Reasons Why SMEs Should be Spooked this Halloween

By 15th November 2019December 11th, 2023No Comments

As you carve out your pumpkins and contemplate the sweet rewards of trick or treating this year, we invite you to prepare a pumpkin in honour of your small business. Today, SMEs are perhaps the most haunted of all specimens, and have to fight for survival with the constant spectre of cybercrime (and spookily sophisticated data breaches) hanging over them…

Similar to those ghoulishly outfitted trick-or-treaters who will show up at your door this Halloween, technology today is both sweet…and downright scary. Business owners and SMEs can harness cloud computing and compete with corporate juggernauts, but at the same time, one malicious email containing malware can bring down a growing business in a matter of days.

Feeling a little bit spooked yet? Here are three reasons why every business owner should be paying more attention to the haunted nature of IT today…

1 – Someone is targeting your data…

There is a prevailing myth that SMEs and individuals offer no attraction for cybercriminals and fraudsters because the rewards are ‘too small’. Nothing could be further from the truth. According to Verizon’s global 2019 Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR), 43% of breaches involved small business victims. Arguably, SMEs are more vulnerable than their bigger counterparts because they don’t have the resources for a dedicated IT team (which can put advanced protections in place and constantly monitor the threat landscape). Yet as you consider your options as a small business owner, take a moment to ponder this statement from Verizon’s report: “No organization is too large or too small to fall victim to a data breach. No industry vertical is immune to attack. Regardless of the type or amount of your organization’s data, there is someone out there who is trying to steal it.”

2 – Machines are getting creepily intelligent  

We’ve all laughed at those cheesy sci-fi films where the robots start as amusing servants and later end up as walking weapons of mass destruction. Yet this dystopian vision of robots becoming all-powerful (and taking over the world) is not as far-fetched as you may think. Some experts are arguing that we’ve already reached that point! Already, computers keep track of – and control – complex systems like global markets and state utilities… Yet even this powerful influence could go way further, according to Vernor Vinge, a former professor of mathematics in the US. Vinge asserts that man is heading toward a future in which we will evolve beyond our understanding through the use of technology. He calls it ‘the singularity’ –  a concept that proposes it’s only a matter of time before humans build a machine that can “think” like a human.

3 – You’re being [cyber] trick or treated every day…

The internet is awash with fraudsters and hackers who are becoming increasingly skilled at social engineering – meaning that business owners and employees are under threat daily. As the Financial Times described it, social engineering is
“the art of getting targets to do something that the fraudster wants them to.” For example, handing over bank details or credit card information. According to the FT, “fraudsters’ techniques have evolved into a confidence trick arms race”, and warns that hackers are becoming more sophisticated in their ability to trick and manipulate internet users.

In short, your [cyber] house is probably already haunted…and while there is no IT equivalent of the Ghostbusters to call, you can arm yourself and your employees with regular training and cyber awareness initiatives.

Now go put out those pumpkins and have a Happy Halloween!

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