Cybercrime: The Threat is Intangible but Real

Cybercriminals are increasingly targeting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). If these companies fail to improve their security measures, they're bound to encounter trouble.

Last year, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) received 50,000 reports of cyber incidents, a 30% increase from the previous year. The rise was fueled by various scams including fraudulent job offers, fake police calls, invoice manipulation, and CEO fraud in the private sector. CEO fraud involves targeting victims, like financial officers, via calls and emails to transfer funds under the guise of CEO orders, often exploiting psychological coercion. Chain phishing, where one hacked account triggers a series of phishing emails to customers and suppliers, also saw a notable increase, with recipients more likely to fall for the scam due to familiarity with the sender.

Discussions at events like the Swiss Cyber Security Days highlight the pressing need for effective protection strategies amidst the escalating cyber threat. Notable figures like Philippe Müller, Member of the Government of the Canton of Berne and Head of the Security Directorate SID, as well as Doris Fiala, Former FDP National Councillor and President of Swiss Cyber Security Days, stress the crucial role of building cyber-resilient societies .

With SMEs being particularly vulnerable targets due to their limited defenses, there's a call for greater awareness and proactive security measures. Nicolas Mayencourt, CEO of Dreamlab Technologies and co-author of "IT Security for SMEs" emphasises the importance for SMEs understanding their risks: "In particular, small and medium-sized enterprises need to ensure that company management and employees gain a better understanding of cyberspace and its associated dangers. Only then can they establish the necessary security measures."

Despite acknowledging the significance of cyber threats, many SMEs fail to take adequate action to mitigate these risks, according to a study by Mobiliar. While awareness is high, measures to address cybersecurity remain limited. Unlike traditional risks, cyber threats require ongoing integration into corporate governance and continuous monitoring. "If a company lacks knowledgeable IT staff, it is advisable to engage a third-party provider who can take the necessary measures and ensure ongoing updates." says Mayencourt.

With the emergence of new fraudulent methods leveraging artificial intelligence (AI), such as voice replication, organisations face increasing challenges in safeguarding against sophisticated attacks. This highlights the necessity for ongoing vigilance and adaptation of cybersecurity measures to address evolving technological threats.

Read the full article (German only): https://www.handelszeitung.ch/news/cyberkriminalitat-die-bedrohung-ist-nicht-fassbar-aber-real-687992

Cybercrime: The Threat is Intangible but Real

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