Targeting Your Business is worth More to Cartels than Drug Trade

Small-medium enterprises are most susceptible to cyberattacks as the global cost of cybercrimes eclipse revenue from drug trade. What can you do to protect your business from being a statistic?

The global cost of cybercrime is predicted to top US$10.5 trillion by 2025. In 2021, the cost of cybercrime damage is expected to hit US$6 trillion in the US alone, making it more profitable than illicit drug trafficking. If there is one thing to take away from the headline grabbing attacks like the Colonial Pipeline, cybercrimes today are strategically orchestrated with the intent to get organisations to comply with perpetrator demands.

It is no wonder that ransomware gangs have been likened to cartels. Some of the biggest ransomware gangs like DarkSide are backed by ‘investors’ who take a cut of the payouts when their ransom has been granted. Furthermore, there is a surge of Crimeware-as-a-Service providers that aid criminals without technical IT backgrounds to execute the most heinous and sophisticated cyber attacks with the intent of extortion.

Why 99.8% of UK Businesses are Prime Targets for Cybercriminals

SMEs make up 99.8% of the UK economy and they are particularly vulnerable to cyberattacks for various reasons. Although not as ‘lucrative’ as targeting large, multinational businesses, cyber criminals generally see SMEs as ‘easy targets’ as many of them have not scaled their cybersecurity measures to fit the size of the business.

Often, they also lack the in-house resources to implement robust network security, and education on internal threat vulnerabilities and finding appropriate cybersecurity support. In the case of cybersecurity, internal threats and breaches typically come in the form of human error. Due to the lack of understanding, employees may accidentally click on malicious links, divulging sensitive information or plugging compromised devices into the company’s network.

Furthermore, when an SME without technical cybersecurity support has been struck by ransomware, they tend to feel that they have to pay the ransom in order to minimise the loss-making downtime.

Should SMEs be Paying the Ransom?

While it is definitely not uncommon for businesses to pay the ransom demanded by cybercriminals, it is strongly not advised by law enforcement and experts.

80% of businesses that choose to submit to the ransom demands actually get hit again by a subsequent attack. Almost half of which have discovered that some, if not all their data that they have retrieved has been corrupted.

In short, paying the ransom does not guarantee the safeguarding of your business data when it is returned. Without a dedicated cybersecurity team to detect where the vulnerabilities are, the targeted company will continue to be vulnerable and poised for another attack.

Prevention is Better Than Cure. Three Things You Should Do Today.

The best way for SMEs to protect themselves against being a cybercrime statistic is to take strong preventative measures. Here are three easy ways to reinforce your company’s moat against cyberthreats:

  1. Educate your team regularly
  2. Good cybersecurity hygiene should be as much of a priority as the health and safety measures at your business. Much like an annual fire drill, it is imperative that businesses prioritise cybersecurity education within the team. This is especially important in 2021 as hybrid working becomes the latest work trend.

    Click here for our checklist on how to ensure a cyber secure home office.

  3. Scale your company’s cybersecurity measures to ensure that they are fit-for-function
  4. While many SMEs do not have the resources to hire a dedicated in-house cybersecurity team, there are still options available. METCLOUD’s team of experts have immense experience in providing fit-for-function cybersecurity and cloud solutions that are scalable in accordance to business needs.

  5. Brace for an attack – even if it feels unlikely
  6. In the event of a cyberattack, businesses are typically faced with the need to make speedy decisions. Building a disaster-recovery playbook helps ensure that the quick decisions remain logical and objective, rather than hasty, knee jerk reactions.

    Read METCLOUD’s 2021 advice ransomware and disaster-recovery playbooks here.

How METCLOUD Can Help…

Most recently recognised as the Cybersecurity Firm of the Year by Finance Monthly in the 2021 FinTech Awards, METCLOUD’s multi-award winning cloud computing platform is fully scalable for small-medium enterprises.

With more than 23 years experience in cyber secure IT infrastructures, METCLOUD is adept in providing clear solutions and expert counsel to businesses that require secure cloud computing.

METCLOUD’s most recent partnership with Cygilant has made best-of-breed technology and cybersecurity-as-a-service accessible to SMEs in across the UK. This new partnership improves overall security capabilities to clients with the integration of LogPoint, SentinelOne, Tenable.io and Qualys.

For more information about METCLOUD and how we can help with your business endeavours through cloud computing, feel free to contact the team.