No fewer than 2,654 small businesses in Nigeria have suffered cyberattacks involving stealing of passwords to their business accounts by prowling hackers.
According to the latest report by researchers at Kaspersky, a global cybersecurity firm, the attacks were perpetrated using Trojan-PSW (Password Stealing Ware) and occurred between January and April 2022. The latest figure represents 89% increase compared to 1076 in 2021 detected in the same period of 2022.
They explained that when a small business owner is faced with the responsibilities of production economics, financial reports and marketing all at the same time, cybersecurity can often appear complicated and, at times, unnecessary.
However, this disregard for IT security is being exploited by cybercriminals. Kaspersky researchers assessed the dynamics of attacks on small and medium-sized businesses between January and April 2022 and the same period in 2021, to identify which threats pose an increasing danger to entrepreneurs.
According to the researchers, in 2022, the number of Trojan-PSW detections in Nigeria more than doubled when compared to the same period in 2021
Trend of Cyberattacks
Trojan-PSW is a malware that steals passwords, along with other account information, which then allows attackers to gain access to the corporate network and steal sensitive information.
Another popular attack tool used on small businesses is Internet attacks, specifically, web pages with redirects to exploits, sites containing exploits and other malicious programs, botnet C&C centers, etc.
While the number of these attacks decreased in the first four months of 2022 in Nigeria (56,836 infections in 2022 compared to 99,146 infections in 2021), Internet attacks are still a concern and need to be protected against.
With the shift towards remote working, many companies have introduced the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), a technology that enables computers on the same corporate network to be linked together and accessed remotely, even when the employees are at home.
The number of attacks on RDP has increased significantly in Nigeria, by 89%. In the first four months of 2021, there were 161,000 RDP attacks detected and blocked by Kaspersky in the country. For the same period in 2022 the number has risen to 303,500 attacks.
The Need for Protection Tool
According to Kaspersky, having a special security solution enables attack visualisation and provides IT administrators with a convenient tool for incident analysis.
The faster they can analyse where and how a leak occurred, the better they will be able to solve any negative consequences. The new edition of Kaspersky Endpoint Security Cloud, dubbed Kaspersky Endpoint Security Cloud Pro, contains advanced new capabilities, including automated response options and an extended set of security controls in a single solution.
The Pro version also includes built-in training for IT workers seeking to boost their cybersecurity skills and make the most out of their specialised security products.
Even small businesses with limited IT resources still need to protect all their working devices, including computers and mobile phones, from cyberthreats.
The updated Kaspersky Small Office Security is a key tool for startups, small online-stores and local businesses to keep all of their work devices protected, safely transfer any valuable business-related files and avoid falling victim to ransomware.
“With the shift to remote working and the introduction of numerous advanced technologies in the daily operations of even small companies, security measures need to evolve to support these sophisticated setups. Cybercriminals are already way ahead of the curve, so much so that virtually every organisation will experience a breach attempt at some point.
“For small companies today, it’s not a matter of whether a cybersecurity incident will happen but when. Having trained staff and an educated IT-specialist is no longer a luxury but a must-have part of your business development,” comments Denis Parinov, security researcher at Kaspersky.
Recommendation To Protect Your Business
- Providing your staff with basic cybersecurity hygiene training as many targeted attacks start with phishing or other social engineering techniques.
- Using a protection solution for endpoints and mail servers with anti-phishing capabilities to decrease the chance of infection through phishing emails.
- Taking key data protection measures. Always safeguard corporate data and devices, including by using password protection, encrypting work devices and ensuring data is backed up.
- Keeping work devices physically safe – do not leave them unattended in public, always lock them and use strong passwords and encryption software.