Cybersecurity for SMEs. PHOTO: Cybercrime Magazine.

Empowering Businesses To Thrive In A Cyber Secure World

Curbing risk at small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)

Andrea Gilman & Johan Gerber

Purchase, N.Y. – Apr. 14, 2021

When COVID-19 hit, life as we knew it changed dramatically. Many people faced health and personal hardships and businesses were forced to shutter their doors. At the same time, our lives became more connected and digital-first. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) moved their storefronts online, launching new websites, adding curbside pickup, forming partnerships with online retailers and more. But along with an increased online presence came increased and unseen vulnerability to cyberattacks — through third parties for example — making SMEs a huge target. Sixty-seven percent of SMEs have experienced a cyberattack and in a world where SMEs make up 90 percent of all businesses and employ roughly 70 percent of workers globally, security is not a nice-to-have — it’s a must!

Since the beginning of the pandemic there’s been a 300 percent increase in cybercrimes reported to the FBI — cybercrime could cost $10.5 trillion dollars by 2025, according to Cybersecurity Ventures. With cyberattacks on the rise, the first step in defending important assets is getting educated about cyber threats. Next, getting the right tools to fend off cyberattacks is critical. That’s why Mastercard is leveraging its educational resources and leading cyber technology to protect SMEs around the world, granting them free or subsidized resources to defend against attacks while giving them access to new technology to enhance their business.

Get Digital

SMEs have pivoted in countless ways to survive the pandemic and moving a business online can feel impossible without knowing the necessary tools and platforms to help build out websites, social content, marketing and more. In addition, finding the resources that business owners trust and match the level of security needed is equally as daunting.

Through Mastercard’s Digital Acceleration Platform, we’ve partnered with locally relevant digital players around the world to help SMEs get online, protect their business and ensure they have the right tools to digitally transform. This platform allows business owners to quickly establish an online presence, safely accept online payments, understand new digital marketing techniques, and access data and insights to help them navigate the digital space.

Start Thriving

Each business has its own security needs. We know one size doesn’t fit all and every business is in a different place on its cybersecurity journey. From beginner to expert, the Mastercard Trust Center was created to help any small business owner defend their business and reputation through free online access to trusted cybersecurity research, education and resources to keep business moving forward. Mastercard has partnered with the Cyber Readiness Institute and the Global Cyber Alliance to provide business owners with free cybersecurity tools, how-to materials and recognized best practices to help SMEs protect themselves from ever-evolving cyber risks.

Cybercrime Radio: Resources to help secure small businesses

Alissa “Dr Jay” Abdullah, SVP & Deputy CSO at Mastercard

Identify Cyber Risk

As businesses become more digital, it is critical that they understand their own cybersecurity risks to gain visibility into the areas where they are most vulnerable. My Cyber Risk powered by RiskReconTM allows businesses of all sizes to automatically assess and prioritize the cyber health of third parties with which they do business.

To protect their business identity, Mastercard ID Theft Protection™ provides identity theft detection, alerts and resolution for SMEs by monitoring the internet, surface, dark and deep web — searching for compromised credentials and damaging use of personal or business information in order to detect identity fraud at its inception. This program provides peace of mind, knowing that in the background of all online transactions there are safety measures looking out for the business and the customer. Mitigating concerns of cyber theft is crucial to the success of all businesses so they can safely and securely get paid, get digital and get capital.

SMEs are the heartbeat of our global economy and as the world accelerates further into the digital space, we’re dedicated to enabling businesses to survive and thrive, stronger than before.

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Andrea Gilman is Global SME Segment Lead at Mastercard. Johan Gerber is Executive Vice President, Security and Cyber Innovation at Mastercard.

Brought to you by Mastercard

Small businesses are the backbone of economic growth. The needs of small businesses have not changed during the pandemic, but they have grown more acute. With cyberattacks on the rise, small businesses are a huge target. 

Quite often cybersecurity is an afterthought for many small businesses. Many do not have the resources of larger organizations to defend themselves and act once breached. And it’s often difficult to recognize that improving the cybersecurity of one’s business is within one’s control.

Our goal is to change that. This is why we created the Mastercard Trust Center — to help small businesses defend their most important assets — their business and their reputation, through free online access to trusted cybersecurity research, education, resources and tools.

It’s our mission to bring the Mastercard Trust Center to every small business, everywhere, enabling owners to feel more secure and better equipped to thrive against uncertainties.