Thursday, February 22, 2024

Local SMEs losing customer info to cyberattacks, Cisco study finds

Worries over cybersecurity threats are growing in the small and medium-sized businesses in the Philippines over the outcomes of cyber incidents, a majority of which are losing customer information to malicious actors, according to a research by tech giant Cisco.

Cisco

The trend is directly affecting the decision-making of SME players towards strategic measures to improve overall cybersecurity posture, the survey entitled “Cybersecurity for SMBs: Asia Pacific Businesses Prepare for Digital Defense” revealed.

The report shed light on the intensity and frequency of infiltration attempts targeting SMBs, as well as the nature of these exploits. The most prolific of these attacks come from malware (81%), followed closely behind by phishing (78%).

In 2020, 57% of SMEs suffered from a cyberattack. From this demographic, a large 73% chunk fell victim to customer information loss. Compared to the threat landscape before 2020, 82% of Filipino SMEs have increasing concerns over cybersecurity conditions, and an even larger 89% are feeling exposed to the threat actors preying on them.

According to Cisco Philippines managing director Robin Llamas, malicious actors put a high price on the large amount of data generated by digitalized SMEs. This behavior has created an urgent need for solution investments on the cybersecurity front.

“Over the past 18 months, SMBs have leveraged technology to continue to operate and serve their customers even as they tackled the implications of the pandemic. This has seen an acceleration in digitalization of SMBs across Philippines. As SMBs become more digital, they also become a more attractive a target for malicious actors, not least because digitalized businesses have an expanded attach surface that hackers can target,” Llamas added.

Around half of Philippine SMEs recognize insufficient detection and prevention capabilities of their current cybersecurity solutions as the culprit for cyberattack incidents. On a slightly positive note, only a small 13% attribute the incidents to lack of any kind of cybersecurity measures at all.

The study is based on the responses of 3,700 individuals hailing from business and IT sectors across 14 Asia Pacific markets, 158 of whom are based here in the Philippines.

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