Strong Competition and Security Posture a Must for SMBs

Strong Competition and Security Posture a Must for SMBs

November 26, 2020

CyberArk Vice President Solution Engineers APJ Jeffrey Kok says cybercriminals target companies of all sizes, and smaller organisations should make investing in a strong security posture a priority.

By Jeffrey Kok

Cybercriminals don’t only target big businesses, they are after any size company that has access to people’s information.

Cybersecurity incident response capabilities vary across organisations. SMEs in particular, tend to have limited resources and do not realise that they are a susceptible target to cybercriminals. According to the latest Singapore Cyber Landscape Report, the majority of the websites defaced in 2019 belonged to SMEs. Additionally, 70 percent of attacks reported to SingCert by SMEs were propagated through phishing attacks.

As bad actors are constantly looking for ways to infiltrate networks, regardless of the company size, SMEs should strive to achieve a stronger security stance. Recovery from a vicious cyber attack can be very costly. The company’s credibility to safeguard critical customer information is also at stake. Customer trust is crucial and businesses must strive to keep this trust intact. In the long run, investing in cybersecurity will always be a wise decision.

Small organisations also may have a vast amount of data. The consequence of cyberattacks can have an impact, not just on the company, but to the customers as well.

Thus, all organisations, regardless of size, should adopt security, processes and actions that are aimed at limiting the possibilities of data loss and how to act should one occur. In the event of a data breach, companies should immediately trigger a notification protocol for the prompt disclosure of the incident to the authorities and impacted individuals. Cybersecurity is, essentially, a collective effort and creating safer cyberspace requires all organisations to act in a similar way as far as securing data and assets are concerned .

Adherence to antitrust regulations in different countries 

Antitrust laws are implemented to ensure fair competition among players within the industry. As enterprises amass vast amounts of data, they can gain an advantage that may prevent or restrain fair competition.

In Singapore, to prevent this from happening and protect businesses and consumers, the government enacted the Competition Act. This law prohibits the abuse of dominance and restricts agreements and mergers that will substantially lessen competition.

Organisations need to be aware of any new changes in international and local laws as government bodies are now focused on creating transnational antitrust enforcement. Before setting up businesses in different countries and regions, businesses need to do their research and understand the applicable local laws and global regulations related to antitrust.

SMBs can ensure better data compliance by being transparent and, obtain explicit consent from their customers when gathering and using customer data. They need to explain their data practices clearly and offer the choice of opting out from providing sensitive personal information. The key to gaining customer’s trust is giving them transparency and control.

Keeping consumers’ trust is another factor in the customer experience equation. Organisations need to allocate resources and time to provide a safe and secure digital space for their customers. Employees need to be equipped with the right tools and information on how to secure and handle their customer’s data. IT Infrastructures must be secured and protected from cyberattacks and intrusions.

Customers trust businesses that make the necessary effort to safeguard their information and show commitment to the responsible use of data and they will recognise these efforts with loyalty to the brand.

On the other hand, larger organisations and technology companies are gaining dominance due to the vast amount of data they collect and own. The pace that these organisations collect data is accelerating, laws and regulations cannot keep up. Antitrust authorities are concerned that companies collecting data will drive out competition and compromise consumers’ data privacy rights.

Markets with very few competitors place consumers at a disadvantageous position. Without an alternative service or product, consumers will not know if they are getting the best possible products and experience. Fair competition is crucial in every industry. To position themselves as leaders, players within the market are required to innovate and develop their offerings.

Ultimately, consumers win as competing companies give consumers the ability to choose the best products and solutions for them.

(Ed. Feature image by Photographer cottonbro.)

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