57% of small businesses in the Philippines hit by cyber attack in the past year — Cisco

The latest report from technology company Cisco revealed that 57% SMBs in the Philippines suffered a cyber attack in the last 12 months and as a result of these incidents, 73% lost customer information to the hands of malicious actors.

Attacks on small businesses increased during the COVID-19 pandemic when the employees shifted to remote work and companies relied heavily on cloud and other digital solutions to ensure business continuity. This placed the corporate networks more vulnerable to attackers.

Data from Cisco showed that 28% of Philippine SMBs hit by cyberattacks cost the business $500,000 or more, with 10% saying that the cost was $1 million or more. Apart from monetary damage and losing customer data, 66% of respondents said they lost employee data while 66% lost sensitive business information.

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“Digitalized SMBs generate more data, which the malicious actors put a high price on,” said Robin Llamas, OIC, managing director, Cisco Philippines. “All of this is fueling a critical need for them to invest in solutions and capabilities to ensure they are safeguarding themselves on the cybersecurity front.”

The report found that as a result of these cyber incidents, 82% said they are more worried about cybersecurity now than they were 12 months ago, and 89% said they feel exposed to cyber threats.

Data loss

Titled Cybersecurity for SMBs: Asia Pacific Businesses Prepare for Digital Defense, the study is based on an independent, double-blinded survey of over 3,700 business and IT leaders with cybersecurity responsibilities across 14 markets in the Asia Pacific, including 158 respondents in the Philippines.

Data loss and financial damage are not the only things that businesses had to endure. Business disruption and losing clients’ trust are also the direct results of cyberattacks.

Disruptions caused by cyber incidents can have serious implications for SMBs. Sixteen percent (16%) SMBs in the Philippines said that even downtime of less than an hour results in severe operational disruption, while 28% said a downtime of between 1 to 2 hours can cause the same. In addition, 15% said a downtime of even less than an hour would result in a severe impact on revenue, while 27% said a downtime between 1 to 2 hours would result in the same. Further, 16% said a downtime of one day would result in a permanent closure of their organization.

Integrated cybersecurity solution

“It is critical for SMBs to be able to detect, investigate, and block or remediate any cyber incident in the shortest time possible,” said Juan Huat Koo, director Cybersecurity, Cisco Asean. “To be able to do that, they need solutions that are easy to deploy and use, integrate well with each other, and help them automate capabilities like detection, blocking, and remediation of cyber incidents. In addition, they need clear visibility across their entire user base and IT infrastructure including their cloud and ‘as a service’ deployments, and take a platform approach to cybersecurity.”

The report presents and analyses the findings of a survey of business and IT leaders with cybersecurity responsibilities at over 3,700 SMBs across 14 markets in Asia Pacific. The markets are Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, the Philippines, and Vietnam.