2 min read.Updated: 27 Sep 2021, 11:35 AM ISTLivemint
According to the study, three in four SMBs in India suffered a cyber incident in the past year, resulting in 85% losing customer information to malicious actors, in addition to a tangible impact on business
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More than half (62%) of small and medium businesses (SMBs) in India that suffered cyber incidents in the past 12 months said that cyberattacks cost their business more than ₹3.5 crore, according to a new study by Cisco titled ‘Cybersecurity for SMBs: Asia Pacific Businesses Prepare for Digital Defense’. Of these, 13% said that the cost was over ₹7 crore.
According to the study, three in four (74%) SMBs in India suffered a cyber incident in the past year, resulting in 85% losing customer information to malicious actors, in addition to a tangible impact on business.
The study is based on an independent survey of more than 3,700 business and IT leaders with cybersecurity responsibilities across 14 markets across the Asia Pacific region.
The survey highlighted that SMBs saw several ways in which attackers tried to infiltrate their systems. In India, malware attacks, which affected 92% of SMBs, topped the charts, followed by phishing at 76%. 38% of those that suffered incidents said that the number one cause was not having cybersecurity solutions. Meanwhile, 36% ranked cybersecurity solutions not being adequate to detect or prevent the attack as the number one reason.
Besides the loss of customer data, SMBs that suffered a cyber incident also lost internal emails (73%), employee data (71%), intellectual property (74%), and financial information (75%). In addition, 73% of those said it disrupted their operations, 76% admitted it negatively impacted their reputation, and more than half (70%) said it resulted in a loss of customer trust.
However, SMBs are rising to the challenge. The study highlighted that they are taking strategic measures like carrying out simulation exercises to improve their cybersecurity posture.
"As they digitize, SMBs are embracing the fact that any transformation, especially one that allows them to meet customers where they are and build trust, must begin with cybersecurity," said Panish P.K., managing director - Small Business, Cisco India and Saarc. "However, given that they typically operate with limited resources and smaller teams, simplicity is the key to successful security deployments."
The Cisco study found that while SMBs in India are more worried about cybersecurity risks and challenges, they are also taking a planned approach to understand and improve their cybersecurity posture through strategic initiatives. According to the study, 89% of SMBs in India have completed scenario planning and/or simulations for potential cybersecurity incidents in the past 12 months. The majority have a cyber response (91%) and recovery plans (92%) in place.
SMBs are ramping up their investments in cybersecurity, with almost half (44%) of Indian SMBs having increased their security investment since the start of the pandemic by more than 5%. These investments are well distributed across areas such as cybersecurity solutions, compliance or monitoring, talent, training, and insurance, suggesting a strong understanding of the need for a multi-faceted and integrated approach to building a robust cyber posture.
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