McAfee CTO: Cyber Criminals Target SME’s

This week – in an article in the Financial Times – McAfee CTO Mike Fey stated that small businesses have become an easy target for cyber criminals because of their lacklustre approach to cyber defences.

SME’s are often guilty of not keeping software protection up to date, ensuring basic cyber training is given (for example awareness of phishing scams) and identifying risks when new technology (including mobile devices) is brought into the business

Mr Fey also commented on how sophisticated technology was being used not only against large corporations:

“Small- and medium-sized businesses are nice easy targets – and you can attack 2,000 small businesses at once,” he said. “We’re starting to see stuff which may have been built for very sophisticated industries put to all sorts of minor use cases.”

One of the most interesting points that Mr Fey made was the misconception by SME’s that they had nothing cyber criminals wanted. What smaller businesses fail to recognize is that cyber criminals are indiscriminate, using automated technology which exploits vulnerabilities wherever they find them.

It doesn’t matter if you’re Sony, Target or the local flower shop’s website. If a weakness is found criminals will exploit it, whether it’s intellectual property, credit card numbers or access to a larger network (as was the case in the Target breach, which started with a hack of one of their vendors networks).

One final thought. Contrary to what to what you might think hackers and cyber criminals do not require sophisticated skills. On the internet there are freely available hacking toolkits complete with simple instructions and even customer support. If you can read, you can hack. It’s that simple.

The question is, now you know you’re at risk (it’s nothing personal) what are you going to do about it?

The Cyber Security Risk Assessment Tool is an in-expensive (just $100) way of identifying your current levels of cyber security.  It will provide you with a clear idea of your current risks, your exposure and what gaps you need to close.