Businesses that are running with low employees suffer from cyber threats a lot and it is estimated that these companies lose an average of $2.5 million every year. As far as Nigerian SMEs are concerned then they are also subjected to cyber attacks.
This makes it imperative to understand cybersecurity threats that are being faced by businesses in Nigeria and how these cyber threats can be tackled.
Nigerian businesses are technically less aware of risks and threats being faced & they also have fewer resources than they can dedicate to their cybersecurity team. In Nigeria, cybercriminals usually target small businesses because SMEs in Nigeria are unprepared and they aren’t aware of the vulnerabilities. So, what are the major cybersecurity threats that are being faced by Nigerian businesses? Let’s discuss them below:
At the top, we have phishing attacks which are the most damaging and prevalent threat to small businesses in Nigeria. Of all the data breaches that occur in Nigeria, phishing alone is responsible for about 90 percent of those data breaches and since the pandemic hit the world, there has been an increase in phishing attacks. These phishing attacks have cost businesses over $12 billion.
These phishing attacks occur when the attacker poses as a trusted contact and asks the person to open a malicious file or link and then persuades him to provide sensitive information including usernames and passwords. Phishing attacks are very popular in Nigeria and they have even reached corporate accounts. Attackers acquire access to corporate-level email accounts by making the victim fall prey to a phishing attack and then request money from staff using these corporate accounts.
Phishing attacks are very difficult to take and companies should create awareness among employees and prevent them from opening any such email, file, or link that seems malicious or is from an unknown sender.
Malware attacks are also very popular and these come second to phishing attacks as top cyber threats in Nigeria. Malware attacks is an umbrella term that covers a wide range of cyber threats that include trojans, viruses, and other malicious codes that are written by attackers to gain access to the network, encrypt data, steal data, or destroy data.
Malware is usually spread by malicious and infected files, links, or connecting an infected device/gadget to the PC. In Nigeria, small businesses are vulnerable to these attacks because they don’t have that many resources to tackle these attacks, which results in these businesses suffering from these malware attacks.
Having proper defenses in place can help avoid malware attacks in Nigeria. There should be proper protection systems in place that can prevent and safeguard devices from downloading malware and providing administrator control to someone else. The network should also be protected, especially the IP address which can be found by typing What Is My IP on the web. The IP address of any network is very important and it should be protected at any cost to prevent any serious damage.
Insider Threats are also a threat that is faced by small businesses in Nigeria. In Nigeria, new employees cannot be trusted easily and an insider threat involves illegal actions of current employees. Usually, employees have access to sensitive information, which if fallen into the wrong hands can cause huge problems. Because of greed & ignorance, insider people can endanger other employees and customer information & also bring harm to the company.
These insider threats are a major problem for small businesses in Nigeria and businesses must ensure that they have a strong culture within the organization and no employee should be given access to highly confidential and sensitive information.
Ransomware is a type of cyberattack that is popular all around the world and in recent years, there has been an increase in ransomware because it has emerged as one of the most profitable types of cyberattacks. A ransomware attack encrypts a company’s data and prevents it from being accessed until and unless a ransom is paid to unlock the data.
In Nigeria and even around the world, small businesses are vulnerable to such attacks. An average ransom of $116,00 is demanded and small businesses are forced to pay the ransom since their data is not backed up and they cannot get back up and start running their businesses unless they get their data back.