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Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Pro-active cybersecurity solutions for SMEs gain currency, but high costs a major impediment

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are among those sectors which mostly do not have the resources to ward off cyber attacks.

Written by Aashish Aryan | New Delhi | August 17, 2020 1:52:14 am
Among those which could be impacted the most are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which mostly do not have the resources to ward off such attacks, global cybersecurity expert agency Sophos said in a report. (File)

The demand for pro-active cybersecurity solutions has risen in the last three months as companies across sectors continue to opt for letting employees work from home, according to experts.

Covid-19 has forced businesses to look at cybersecurity not as a problem that they need to solve, but more in terms how it can used as a business advantage. We are likely to find more businesses opting for a pro-active solution and not because some regulatory measures ask them to do so,” Pooja Haldea, senior advisor at Center for Social and Behaviour Change said.

Among those which could be impacted the most are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which mostly do not have the resources to ward off such attacks, global cybersecurity expert agency Sophos said in a report.

In a survey conducted by the company, 82 per cent of the 300 Indian firms it contacted reported being hit by ransomware and breach of cyber security of their employees. “Cyber hygiene is generally poor in India, and pirated technology abounds, creating weaknesses in cyber defenses and making organizations more vulnerable to attack,” the agency said in its report.

One of the main reasons for the rise in cybersecurity related incidents is the increase in the number of access points since employees connect to the same office network from home. Unlike in an office environment, where they in a protected local area network which prevents unauthorised access to outsiders, the work from home (WFH) situation has forced companies to exchange crucial data over the internet.

This data can easily be intercepted and forged with or stolen, a cybersecurity expert who works with government security agencies, said. “It is like travelling on the highway. In pre-pandemic times, you had your own private road, so you could monitor who comes and goes. Now, it is on the internet, which is being used by everyone else. From a closed room, it has gone to the common space,” the expert added.

Though companies have accepted the fact that they need to do more in order to protect their data and employees from such security breaches, the cost of implementing a pro-active cybersecurity solution and the recurring costs associated with it are a hindrance, US-based cyber security company ProtectedIT’s India president Manny Chadha said.

“The biggest constraint that the companies have is budget. Depending on the size of the company, it could cost upwards of a $1 million easily. And then there is yearly recurring costs. So for large government entities, that is no concern, but that cost becomes a major hindrance for MSMEs,” Chadha said.

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