How to better protect small and medium-size businesses from IT security risks
As the business world goes digital, it’s critical to keep security in mind at all times. In 2017, 4,550 cybersecurity incidents – around 12 per day* – impacted French companies, with SMEs among the hardest hit. Aware of how important it was to act quickly to help these businesses be more resilient in the face of cyber-attacks, Alexis Nardone, director of INQUEST, worked with his team to develop a cyber services solution that would meet their needs.
Why are SMEs more vulnerable to the risk of cyber-attacks?
When it comes to risk, the playing field isn’t level for all companies. On one side, we have large companies with the capacity to recruit qualified employees with security expertise, create a cyber security policy and withstand the financial consequences should they have to shut down temporarily. On the other side, small and medium-size companies are often defenceless. Once aware of the situation, the French government launched a plan to inform SMEs about the risk of cyber-attacks.
What is the main barrier to raising awareness among SMEs?
Technical complexity is one of the top barriers; the world of cyber security is sometimes difficult to understand with its raft of tech jargon. Companies often find themselves confronted with a list of hard-to-understand services with costs that weren’t planned for in their budgets. These are just two of the many reasons company leaders put off implementing security measures until later. Yet this vulnerability is well-known to cyber pirates who can more easily penetrate their IT systems. Moreover, the backup system, which is often weak, rarely enables a company to avoid business interruptions and the potential loss of sensitive data. This can have a devastating impact, with consequences that include financial losses, as well as potential decreases in production quality and company stability, when the business finds itself in danger.
GM Consultant diversified its range of services when it created the INQUEST subsidiary in 2017, which specialises in consultancy and risk prevention services. And now, we are launching CIBERO, a service designed especially for SMEs…
In order to help SMEs build resilience against cyber-attacks, we designed CIBERO, an agile platform with value-added services whose goal is to effectively support and advise very small businesses and SMEs on their cybersecurity strategy.
The platform is aimed at insurance companies and brokers, GM Consultant’s leading clients, who can offer it to their own insurance customers in order to help them evaluate their maturity and protection against cyber risks. No need to be an IT security specialist to use the platform. It is very user-friendly and easy to access via the secure online portal that is customised to meet the needs of SMEs and very small businesses. CIBERO offers custom on-demand services, including a GDPR toolkit, identity theft simulations (phishing tests) and assessments of exposure to online risks, just to name a few.
Alexis NARDONE, INQUEST Director
*Data taken from the worldwide study “The Global State of Information Security Survey 2018”, conducted in April and May 2017 with 9,500 IT directors and managers in 122 countries.