SMEs must smarten up against cybercrime

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The biggest cybercrime problems faced by Cypriot small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the last 12 months were phishing, account takeover or impersonation attacks (16%), higher than the EU average (11%), according to an EU survey.

Other online issues included viruses, spyware, or malicious software (excluding ransomware) (8%) at a rate lower than the EU average (14%).

The most common way in which SMEs fall victim to cybercrime scams and frauds (52%) with a rate that is the highest in the EU and almost double the European average of 28%.

Password cracking (24%) is the fifth highest rate in the EU; the average is 19%.

The Digital Security Authority recommends the following to all businesses:

  • Beware of emails from unknown senders and check the email address correctness even if the email’s sender is known. Do not open attachments or links received from unknown senders.
  • Have appropriate anti-virus software installed to protect the entire network range and equipment.
  • Do not disclose passwords either by telephone or any electronic means.
  • Passwords must be more than 12 characters long and contain a combination of capital letters, small letters, symbols, and numbers.
  • Passwords should be changed frequently
  • Use password verification (also known as two-factor authentication), adding an extra layer of security to the account in case of password theft.
  • Institute control and backup and recovery procedures.

A similar survey on cybersecurity issues in business was carried out at a national level by the Digital Security Authority in cooperation with the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The survey aimed to assess the needs of businesses to plan cybersecurity training seminars.