February 26, 2024

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New Zealand Bolsters Cyber Resilience for SMEs

Cyber-attacks on large corporations are nothing new, with high-profile corporations falling victim to sophisticated online criminals at an alarming rate. A cyber-attack on a smaller enterprise is unlikely to garner the same level of attention as the hacking of a multinational corporation, but that does not mean there are not many successful attacks on small businesses daily.

According to research, cybercriminals are increasingly targeting SMEs in a number of ways, with ransomware attacks proving to be one of the most common methods used to extract money. Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts all files on a computer and demands money, usually untraceable bitcoins, for them to be unlocked. Not only do 36% of ransomware victims report loss of business income due to the attack, but this type of cyber threat is expected to increase 300%.

As per the survey, the perceived threat of cybercrime has increased significantly, with 29% of respondents reporting an increase in cyber-security threats to their business in the last 12 months, up from 16% the previous year.  With more businesses becoming digitised and instances of cyber-crime on the rise, new research has revealed that nearly a quarter (24%) of SMEs have been a victim of a cyber-attack or malicious cyber activity.

While ransomware is increasingly common, business email compromise resulting in bank fraud not only costs a considerable amount of money but can directly impact the relationship you have with suppliers and customers.

Of those SMEs who have been targeted by malicious cyber activity, nearly half (49%) said they had experienced a phishing attack, 44% had been targeted with malware, and a quarter (25%) had experienced a ransomware attack.

Nearly three quarters (74%) of those surveyed indicated they have anti-virus protection, 60% have firewalls in place for the business and more than a third (37%) have two-factor authentication. However, just 27% of SMEs have had specific staff training to protect the business and themselves from scammers or online phishing.

It can be difficult for SMEs to find the right balance between protecting themselves from malicious cyber-attacks and creating unnecessary restrictions on employee device usage. Few basic actions can be used for an SME company to avoid being a target of cyber-crime:

Protect the method of accessing information

Using the same password across multiple systems, as well as using short or easily guessed passwords, increases the likelihood that a password will be compromised. Passwords that change too frequently or are too complex will only frustrate users, who will ‘game’ the system to make their lives easier by reusing, incrementing, or writing them down. Modern password managers greatly simplify the task of using the many passwords required to manage your business.

Even if a password is stolen in a phishing attack, the use of multi-factor authentication (MFA) ensures that hackers are unable to sign in because they lack the vital final piece of information that only a legitimate user has.

Protect where data or information is being stored

Taking a backup of the company’s data and storing it separately from the main system means that if the company’s main system is lost due to a cyber-attack, the company can still recover from a backup space.

Consider cyber risk insurance

The cost of a cyber-attack against a typical SME would surprise most people. Even for a small business, the direct costs of technical assistance and recovery, legal fees and litigation, costs of notifying affected people, and public relations can total tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of dollars.

In contrast, as the use of the internet and networked computers grows, and new technologies such as cloud computing enable even greater technological advances, cybercrime is expected to increase as cybercriminals seek to exploit online and networked vulnerabilities in business networks.


Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.


CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.


Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.


SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.


HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 


IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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