New tool to protect SMEs from cybercrime

With the growing threat of cybercrime, authorities have launched a tool to assess the risk your business faces.

Research has claimed more than a third of all Swiss SMEs have become the victim of cybercrime and experts believe this figure is set to grow in the coming years.

According to technology lobby group ICTSwitzerland, cyber criminals are increasingly targeting ‘low-hanging fruit’ – or, in other words, SMEs which do not have adequate online protection procedures in place.


Just 60 per cent of the 300 SMEs which answered the group’s poll in 2017 said they have thoroughly implemented basic protection measures – such as malware protection, a firewall, patch management and backups.  The research also found only a fifth of companies had fully introduced systems to detect cyber incidents, while just 18 per cent of the companies surveyed said they have processes for dealing with cyber incidents, and only 15 per cent train staff on the safe use of IT.

And while cybercrime is growing problem worldwide, Swiss businesses are likely to be targeted. The union estimates 98 per cent of all companies in the country are SMEs, while 4 per cent admitted they have been blackmailed by criminals.


However, just 10 per cent of the companies surveyed said they consider themselves to be at a significant or greater risk of being put out of action for a day or losing their livelihood because of a cybercrime attack, while more than half of the managing directors questioned (56 per cent) said they feel they are well or very well protected against cyber-attacks.

To attempt to combat the issue and pass on best practice tips to Swiss SMEs, ICTSwizerland has launched an online cyber security self-assessment test, supported by a host of other key organisations (see panel).


Although the test is targeted towards Swiss firms, the 12-part multiple answer questionnaire can be completed in English, French and German and provides real-time feedback to those taking part, while a brief and ‘deliberately simple’ accompanying document can provide additional information on each topic, should this be required.

At the end of the survey, a minimum level of protection is suggested, allowing businesses to check how their IT protection compares against the advice of  security experts.


Nicole Barandun, president of municipal trade association GVZ says: “We frequently sense great uncertainty among SMEs with regard to cybersecurity. Many simply do not know how they can tackle the issue. The quick-check is a good way for SMEs to start tackling the matter and identify what, if anything, they need to do.”

The self-assessment test can be taken online and can also be downloaded as a PDF.

 Swiss support

The self-assessment test is supported by:

To take the test, visit ICTSwitzerland’s dedicated page, and to find out more about how Penta can help protect your business, click here.

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