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SMEs Under Cyber Attacks

Cyberattackers are now more focused towards targeting more on small and medium (SMEs) non-IT enterprises rather then big IT companies, reports The Times of India on February 27, 2012.

Dearth of cyber attacks knowledge in the SMEs or the absence of any precautionary measure is an added advantage for cyber attacks, indicates Cyber Security Expert, Anshul Abhang. The underlying reason behind this negligence is the minor amount of investments by SMEs towards IT security infrastructure. Abhang also hint towards enterprises in financial healthy condition with a substantial capital in the banks being the prime focus of target for attackers, as reported in The Times of India on February 27, 2012.

A popular instance of such missions includes the receipt of an e-mail by the cash-rich SME's in the disguise of being sent from the bank. The mail starts in a rather authentic tone recommending the organization to update their account credential on a regular basis to avoid phishing. In an impulse, the victim immediately clicks on a link provided in the mail, leading him to a fake website and unforeseen consequences.

The attacker now inserts its dirty foot and eventually transfer small amount of the money in a different account. For being a current account, transactions are not red flagged and gradually the money is transferred to multiple savings accounts. Abhang also says that after a significant amount of time, the money is withdrawn by the culprits.

Amusingly, Anshul's statement fulfills all perceptions of SMEs as evident from a threat poll by Symantec in 2011, by which SMEs were found to consider them fortunate to be immune of all kinds of cyber threats including malware attacks, virus attack, or phishing.

The results of the poll indicate that about 54% considers malware to cause a loss of their productivity, while 36% believed that hackers might be able to get back the access to proprietary information. Additionally, respondents were also found to be conscious about the impact of targeted attack on the business. To this, 46% agreed that these kinds of cyber attacks would curtail profit in the business, while 20% were at one with the presumption that it would dodge customers away.

As such, there's an ardent need for SMEs to secure their business and make information safe and secure. Minute alterations including awareness through education and best practices can guarantee safe and secured business by SMEs.

Related article: SANS Highlights Twenty Top Hacker Targets

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