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Why SMEs are so vulnerable to cyber attacks

You are not the first entrepreneur who does not consider cybersecurity important. The reason for this is that most entrepreneurs think that their SME is not interesting for hackers. Don’t worry, you’re not the only one who’s wrong. At least 62% of all cybercrime (Report Beazley Breach Response) is aimed at SMEs. What makes SMEs so vulnerable to cyber attacks?

Why are SMEs so vulnerable to cyber attacks?

Not so long ago, most companies did not have their cybersecurity in order. Whether you, as a hacker, had your eye on a large company or a smaller company, both were possible. Since then, major changes have taken place. Large companies have tightened up their cybersecurity considerably, which deters cybercrime.

The smaller companies, on the other hand, have stood still when it comes to developing cybersecurity. Hardly any improvements are made to the cybersecurity policy, which means that hackers can enter as easily as before.

Large companies provide a hacker with a lot more information, but it takes them much more time to get to it. The smaller companies still provide valuable information that the hacker can retrieve with two fingers in the nose. Hackers are therefore increasingly opting for the low-hanging fruit. It is easier to hack several smaller companies than one large company. That’s why SMEs are so vulnerable to cyber attacks?

It is therefore a myth that smaller companies are not interesting enough for hackers. Your organization will also come into the view of a hacker at some point and you want to be prepared for that. After all, you don’t want the hacker to gain access to valuable information.

What Causes Cyber Attacks?

Your organization does not just fall victim to a cyber attack. Hackers have all kinds of tricks to fool you or your employees. Unfortunately, these tricks work often enough.

Malware and ransomware attacks

Malware (malicious software) and ransomware are often the culprits when an organization is hit by a cyber attack. Often an employee accidentally clicks on a link that should not be opened or a malicious file is downloaded.

95% of all hacks and data leaks are due to human error. Not only do we know that. Hackers also know all too well that we make a mistake here and there and they capitalize on that. For example, in an e-mail, the hacker places a link that is infected with malware. The second someone from your team clicks on the link, the trouble starts.

Some hackers take it a step further. By infecting the devices within your organization with malware, hackers can seize important information. Only by paying will you get the documents back.

Phishing and spoofing

Phishing and spoofing are also increasingly used to hack organizations. Phishing is a form of digital fraud. The name is derived from the English word ‘fishing’ which means ‘fishing’ in Dutch. Hackers fish for your data, as it were while pretending to be someone else.

By sending a message, the hacker hopes to gain access to your personal information via a malicious link or an infected file. An awful lot of people have made the mistake of unwittingly passing on their bank details to a hacker.

Spoofing is also a form of scam where hackers assume another identity to trick you. For example, from their own phone, hackers send an SMS on behalf of the DHL delivery service. You think you are following the track & trace code of your package, but you actually give a hacker access to important information.

Left or right, hackers end up getting their hands on exactly what they intended. It is therefore important for your organization to protect you against evil. With proper training, your organization can take the right steps to deter hackers.

What can you do against cyber attacks?

We know that SMEs are a popular target for cyber attacks. Of course, you now also want to know what you can do to prevent cyber attacks. We have the answer to this pressing question.

At Guardey we focus on three things that make your organization more resilient to cyber-attacks. First of all on the connecting part and secondly on the detecting and learning part.

To connect

Working behind a desk in an office is a thing of the past. After it was not possible to work in the office for a long time, a lot of office chairs are still empty now that the weather is possible. Everyone has discovered the freedom of working from home. You don’t have to sit in your own living room, you can also open the laptop from abroad. Can you see yourself working in your favourite holiday country?

It’s nice that we can work wherever we want. This only entails risks. You, therefore, want to make sure that you have a secure connection. If an employee’s data is stolen, this is of no use to the hacker.

To detect

No one can prevent you from being hacked one hundred per cent. It is therefore important that you receive a notification if you are hacked. This way you can solve the problem at an early stage. Hackers never aim to destroy your system. They prefer to stay put as long as possible to pick up as much information as possible and ultimately cause even more damage.

To learn

Most people have virtually no knowledge about cybersecurity. This entails major risks for your company. Only when your team is aware of the risks of cyber attacks will they understand why it is so important to counter cyber attacks. That is why your team should get to work themselves to learn more about cyber attacks and cyber security.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is gamification?

Gamification is adding game elements into non-game environments, such as security awareness training, to increase participation and foster active learning.

What are the benefits of gamification in security awareness training?

Traditional security awareness training can often be dry and boring. With gamification, the complex subject matter is transformed into an engaging and memorable experience.

By integrating game elements such as challenges, quizzes and rewards, it incentivizes users to actively learn. This makes the training more enjoyable and fosters a sense of competition and achievement. This combination drives better retention and application of cyber security knowledge.

Why is it important to train security awareness on a weekly basis?

Research shows that up to 90% of the learnings from yearly or even quarterly training are forgotten within a few weeks. Guardey was built to keep its users aware of cyber threats 365 days a year. The game comes with short, weekly challenges that slowly builds up the user’s knowledge and eventually drives lasting behavior change.

Which topics are covered in Guardey’s security awareness game?

Guardey covers a wide array of topics to train users about all currently relevant cyber threats, put together in collaboration with ethical hackers and educationalists. The topics covered include phishing, remote work, password security, CEO fraud, ransomware, smishing, and much more.

How much time do the weekly challenges take?

Every challenge takes up to three minutes to complete.

Can I use Guardey to comply with the ISO27001, NIS2, and GDPR security awareness policies?

Yes. ISO27001, NIS2, and GDPR all require that all employees receive appropriate security awareness training. Guardey is always up-to-date with the latest cyber threats, policies, and procedures.

Is security awareness training important for all employees, or just specific roles?

Cybersecurity awareness training is crucial for all employees, not just specific roles. Every staff member can potentially be a target or an unwitting entry point for cyber attacks. Training helps create a security-focused culture and minimizes risks for the entire organization.

While certain roles may require specialized training, a foundational level of training should be accessible to everyone.

In which languages is Guardey available?

Guardey is available in English, Dutch, Italian, French, Spanish, German, Polish, Swedish and Danish.

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