Over 70% of Small Businesses Worldwide Suffered a Cyber Attack in the Last 2 Years: Report

Small businesses are increasingly becoming targets for cyberattacks. With limited resources and expertise, these businesses often struggle to defend against sophisticated threats.

A study conducted by Kaspersky at the end of 2023 found that 76% of small businesses around the world and 88% in the META (Middle East, Turkey, Africa) region experienced at least one cyber incident in the past two years. The consequences of those attacks were severe and resulted in leaks of confidential data, reputational damage, loss of customer trust, and more.

Around 9% of small companies worldwide including META had to suspend certain areas of their business operations. Examining the reasons for these cyber incidents, it’s clear that one of the main causes was the use of weak passwords or failure to perform regular password updates. This reason accounts for almost a quarter, second only to downloading malware.

For World Password Day, Kaspersky is unveiling simple but crucial cybersecurity measures for password protection in a small business environment.

Kaspersky suggests strengthening small businesses’ password policies which are both robust and unique for each corporate service. Weak and reused passwords are easy targets for cybercriminals, who leverage automated tools to crack them and gain unauthorized access to sensitive information.

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) adds an extra layer of security by requiring users to provide additional verification beyond just a password. While small businesses may perceive MFA as complex or unnecessary, it is a critical security measure that can protect against various cyber threats, such as password theft and unauthorized account access.

Hafeez Rehman, Technical group manager at Kaspersky says:

Our Kaspersky Small Office Security, tailored specifically to the needs of small businesses, offers a hands-off security solution with ‘install and forget’ protection, and allows for saving companies’ budget, particularly crucial in the early stages of business development. It provides comprehensive protection against malware, phishing, ransomware, weak passwords and much more,” comments.

Kaspersky recommends small business owners should encourage employees to change their passwords periodically and enforce password expiration policies to prevent the reuse of old passwords.

Employee awareness also is crucial for effective password protection and overall online safety within small businesses. By fostering a culture of cybersecurity awareness, small businesses can empower employees to play an active role in protecting sensitive information and mitigating cyber threats.

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