Recently, cybersecurity has become a growing concern in the Ghanaian SME space. It is believed that most of the Small and Medium-sized Enterprises in the West African country are exposed to more cyber threats.
Delta3 International ICT Solutions Provider Del Aden said the SMEs sector had become a primary target for internet desperadoes as their security systems are looked upon as the weak link in the supply chain. Aden, who spoke at the media launch of the maiden Ghana InfoSec and IT Leaders Conference in Accra, urged the sector to appreciate and implement cybersecurity technologies to protect their businesses.
According to him, there is a common misconception that because SMEs think they are only small, the internet pirates do not look for or want anything from them. Research has shown that hackers have a knack for preying upon small businesses. “Because the internet poachers are aware that growing business lack the funding to afford wholesome control measures, they are often the softer spot for cyber attacks.”
Hackers are aware that SMEs will not invest heavily in cybersecurity technology, making hackers have an eye for the worth of data they possess. Due to the delusion that their size will keep them safe from these attacks, criminal tactics have become effective, and most SMEs have been reeling off different kinds of break-ins.
A 2016 survey conducted by Better Business Bureau (BBB) shows that in Ghana, a quarter of SMEs is unaware of cybercriminal activities. The private, non-profit American organization – that focuses on advancing marketplace trust – revealed in the report that a third of the respondents during a survey had not heard of ransomware. It also discovered that almost half of didn’t know jack about point-of-sale (PoS) malware.
According to the report, PoS systems in Ghana were majorly involved in three-quarter of cyber attacks in the hotel and restaurant industry. Hackers were found to see small business as the greener pastures from which they can gain access to customer and employee data. Small firms, by way of the report, may not suffer the direct hit from cyber-criminals but may be used indirectly to attack big corporates.
Del Aden, who both commended and apprised the bank of Ghana’s cyber information, said that the good-on-paper provisions need to be stepped up to a more secure cyberspace for the financial services industry. He urged the government to bring about more trust and confidence in the ICT systems as well as transactions in the country’s cyberspace.
“There’s further education needed for small business owners; they have a lot of challenges already trying to run their businesses; the government together with the wider community should do more to provide that awareness, education, and training for small businesses in Ghana,” he said.
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