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21 September 2023

🛡Raising awareness of cyber security: an imperative for SME directors

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Associate lawyer

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Cyber security is no longer just a matter for large companies. In the digital age, even SMEs are vulnerable to cyber attacks. Why should an SME director care? And how can we protect ourselves against these threats?

– The reality of threats –

Cyber attacks can have serious consequences for a business, ranging from the loss of sensitive data to major disruption to operations. The financial impact, reputation and confidence of customers can be seriously affected. Cybercriminals use various types of attack: ransomware, phishing, DDoS attacks and many others. Attackers target valuable data such as financial information, customer data or trade secrets.

– Why are we targeting SMEs? –

Contrary to what you might think, SMEs are often more vulnerable than large companies. Fewer resources are allocated to cyber security, which can make them easier to infiltrate. Moreover, cybercriminals are aware that SMEs can be suppliers or partners of large companies, providing a gateway.

– A few simple preventive measures to put in place -.

  • Education and training: make your team aware of cybersecurity best practices and potential dangers.
  • Regular updates: make sure all your software, operating systems and applications are up to date.
  • Backups: make regular backups of your essential data.
  • Anti-virus protection: use a reliable anti-virus solution and keep it up to date.
  • Access management: configure and review employee access (arrival, change of function, departure) and clearance levels (user accounts, accounts with admin privileges) on the basis of the need-to-know and minimum privilege principles.
  • Password: use a different complex password for each application, use a password manager.
  • 2FA: implement dual authentication for all business accounts, with priority given to critical applications.

– Action plan in the event of an attack –

Prepare for the possibility of a cyber attack. Draw up an emergency and incident response plan. This plan should include at least the steps to follow, who to contact and how to communicate the incident to your customers and partners.


Cyber attacks are a real and constantly evolving threat. SME managers need to understand the importance of cyber security and take steps to protect their business. By investing in prevention and preparing for eventualities, SMEs can not only defend themselves against threats, but also strengthen their market position.

Article written by Frédéric DECHAMPS in collaboration with ATAYA & PARTNERS

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