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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 Guardey in short?

You just want to know what Guardey is, in a few lines, not scrolling through the whole website. We got you covered. Here you are:

Guardey focuses on three parts of your cyber security:

A safe and encrypted VPN connection via Guardey’s secure infrastructure or a Site-to-Site VPN.

We analyze information packages from the data going through the VPN tunnel, give clear insights into your data infrastructure, and provide alerts in case of threats like ransomware, viruses, and irregularities in your network.

Your cyber security is as strong as your weakest link. With Guardey, you can educate your whole team and increase awareness in a fun and efficient way through gamification.

It’s an advanced software as a service with applications for Windows and Mac OSX and an online platform for reporting and managing your teams and company policies.

How does the free trial works?

Your free 14-day trial with Guardey is based on our Basic plan. In our basic plan, all the alarms will only be available for yourself or your own company, and you manage the alarms in-house. We don’t need any payment information to start your trial, and you can invite as many users as you want.

The majority of SMEs don’t have an in-house IT department or a team of cyber security specialists. Therefore we also offer Guardey co-managed and Guardey custom. In both plans, you are able to connect Guardey to a preferred Guardy IT partner or, of course, your own IT partner.

They can semi or fully manage the alarms and the health of your infrastructure so that you can focus on your business.

After your 14 days of the free trial, you can decide if you want to continue with a paid plan. Upgrading during your trial period means you stop your trial and upgrade to a paid plan. You need a verified payment method to upgrade.

How can I pay after the trial period?

We don’t ask for any payment information to start your trial.

If you want to upgrade during or after your free trial to a paid plan, you can use one of the below payment methods:

  1. Credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Maestro, PostePay, Cartes Bancaires)
  2. PayPal
  3. Direct Debit (iDeal SEPA)
Can I up- or downgrade to a different plan?

Yes you can! You can always upgrade immediately and costs are calculated pro-rata on your next invoice. A downgrade will be effective from your next payment period.

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Anouk ter Harmsel

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