Security – Achilles Heel for SMBs and an opportunity?

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When someone mentions security, we tend to nod and agree that something should be done about it and we should be more careful. Yet it is still not truly part of our daily routine.

The problem, according to insurance company Hiscox, is that our ‘security hygiene’ is sadly lacking.

As a result, most smaller businesses have suffered a security breach in the last year. In the Europe-wide survey among 5,400 businesses, across the spectrum in terms of size, 60% have reported one or more attack so far this year, up from 45% in 2018.

The average cost of these attacks has also risen dramatically, up from $229,000 a year ago, to $369,000 this year.

A large part of the problem, according to Hiscox, is passwords. Many people have one password for multiple sites and log-ins. This means that if a user has a password for, say, iTunes, it is quite likely that he or she will use the same password for work related log-ins. And the most common fraud at the moment is bad guys hacking someone’s work account and sending emails from that account, with ‘new’ bank details or payment address which allows them to divert funds.

It is not even a high-tech hack and it is one that still works.

The sad truth is that passwords are a pain and unless you are strict in your use of password vaults and managers then you are vulnerable – and so is your company.

The other problem is that anything that is connected is vulnerable and we want everything to be connected. In fact, even devices that are not connected can still be hacked. And the number of devices is increasing exponentially.

Encryption, biometrics and quantum key distribution are all on their way but it will take time for these techniques to come to the aid of most companies and individuals.

The good news is that security is a real and immediate opportunity for telcos and software vendors. Small medium businesses do not have time to think about all the security issues and do not have the budget in any case.

Now, though, companies like Openet are working with partners to enable telcos to offer a one-stop shop for smaller companies, which include security as a built-in part of the connectivity offering. As we reported, the company has dispatched a senior executive to execute on this strategy in the Asia Pacific region.

So, while security will remain a major issue, it is also an opportunity for telcos (or MVNOs) to help small businesses. It is an under-served market and one that is ready to be served.

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