Around the globe, you don’t have to look far to find anecdotes about the increasing need for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to ramp up their cybersecurity arrangements.
In South Africa, Professor Basie von Solms, Director of the Centre for Cyber Security at the University of Johannesburg, noted during 2017 that small companies in this country need to be vigilant in the fight against cyber threats, pointing out that statistics have proved that these smaller businesses are being increasingly targeted by criminals going after sensitive information. And in the UK, a report compiled by insurance company Zurich showed that 875,000 SMEs across the UK had been affected by a cyberattack in a twelve-month period between 2016-2017, with firms in London the most affected. Despite this, SMEs in the UK were still not setting aside significant amounts of cash to bolster their cyber-security defences.
Bryan Hamman, Arbor Networks’ territory manager for Sub-Saharan Africa, says: “The Zurich data shows that, of the companies hit, just over a fifth reported that it cost them more than £10,000 (approximately R180,000 at an exchange rate of 18:1 Rands:Sterling) and one in 10 said that it had cost them more than £50,000 (approximately R900,000). This is a hefty sum for a small company, and could mean the difference between staying alive or going under. There is good news for SMEs, however, in the introduction of Arbor Networks’ radically better DDoS protection for small and medium enterprises.”
Arbor Networks announced recently that it had made advanced DDoS protection available to small and medium sized businesses through a suite of affordable, flexible options that range from on-premise appliances to virtualised solutions and Amazon Web Services support, for unified protection across hybrid cloud environments.
The new offerings reflect Arbor’s ongoing commitment to support enterprise of all sizes in protecting their networks from DDoS threats, which continue to escalate globally in terms of attack frequency, volume and complexity. Hamman notes the following features of the DDoS protection for SMEs:
· Easy to deploy and operate: Whether deployed as an appliance, VM, or AWS instance, Arbor’s APS solution is designed for smaller IT teams with limited resources. Easy to deploy with extensive built-in automation, its “plug & play” design means it can be quickly and easily installed using the default settings – even during an attack. Further, Arbor APS allows users to quickly fine tune protections specific to their network.
· Multiple defence options: Arbor recommends hybrid, or multi-layer defence to protect against all types of DDoS threats. Cloud-based protection is essential to defend against large, high volume attacks while on-premise protection, as delivered by Arbor’s APS, also provides protection against complicated application-layer and TCP state-exhaustion attacks. Arbor also extends, automates and integrates protection to the cloud by using Cloud Signaling technology to connect on-premise protection with cloud-based DDoS services. The APS can be set to alert upstream service providers, such as your ISP or Arbor Cloud, when larger attacks threaten availability, ensuring the rapid mitigation of DDoS attacks before they overwhelm local resources.
· Integrated global threat intelligence: Arbor also provides visibility into internet traffic and threats. The ATLAS Intelligence Feed provides the products with automated, continuously updated protections from the latest and most serious threats potentially targeting all business, including SMEs.
Hamman concludes: “The Banking Association of South Africa has underscored the importance of SMEs, noting that they ‘are considered an important contributor to the economy as drivers for reducing unemployment, especially since the formal sector continues to shed jobs.’ We therefore need to do everything we can to support the growth of the small business in South Africa and this includes assisting them with effective yet affordable cyber protection.”