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The Importance of Cyber Security

A survey that was conducted amongst Maltese businesses in the last quarter of 2018 shows that 40% of the respondents were directly affected by a cyber security incident, with the attack vectors ranging from fraudulent emails or scam calls, the unknowing installation of malicious software or ransomware. Unsurprisingly, 83% of the large organisations that participated in the survey confirmed that they were a victim of at least one cyber security incident. The more moving parts an organisation has, the more susceptible it becomes. Hence, given the size of large organisations, their attack surface is bigger because of the larger amount of people that they employ and/or transact with which results in a larger number of transactions and communication channels. On the other hand, small firms were the mostly affected types of enterprises from the Micro, Small to Medium sized Enterprises, occupying 46% of the total number of respondents that were affected in this group. In the light of this, most of the respondents (75% of SMEs and 83% of large organisations) agreed on the importance to undertake a cyber risk assessment to assess their digital assets to ensure cyberattack readiness.

Unfortunately, the question to ask when it comes to cyberattacks is not whether we will be targeted but rather when we will be hit and what will be the consequences.

Government Initiative supporting the Business Industry

There are various initiatives organisations can take to limit the frequency and also the repercussions of cyberattacks. These measures vary including basic cyber security principles which can be easily implemented that will have an immediate effect, long-term checks on systems by specialists in the security field, and above all cyber security awareness.

In its commitment towards enhancing cyber security on a national level, MITA in collaboration with the Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation has embarked on a project to promote and strengthen cyber security preparedness in the private sector through the B SECURE Scheme which was announced by Hon. Silvio Schembri on 13th June during an event held at the Chamber of Commerce.

Through the B SECURE Scheme, the private industry can apply for assistance in assessing the posture of their digital assets against the latest cyber security threats and also to further the education of their employees through training being offered, giving participants the possibility to earn certifications recognised world-wide in the cyber security domain. This Scheme will open during Quarter 4 2019, with services being offered throughout year 2020.


The ultimate objective of this Scheme is to instil a cyber security culture within the local private sector irrespective of the size of the business. It is a golden opportunity for the businesses to evaluate, plan and enhance their cyber security posture because cyber security is everyone’s responsibility. Ultimately, it will place Malta in a better position when it comes to cyber security preparedness. Understandably, this will not be attained through a onetime exercise, but the Scheme would serve as the basis for further strengthening.

Stats & Facts

Did you know that…

  • 87% of breaches are achieved in less than one hour after the attack is launched
  • 68% of breaches go undetected by the target organization for months or longer
  • 53% of cyberattacks result in damages to the business of €452,000 or more
  • Phishing is the cybercriminal’s preferred attack method, notably for popular attacks like ransomware, with the ratio of phishing emails to safe emails increasing 250% in 2018
  • Cryptojacking malware, which secretly steals business computing resources to illicitly mine cryptocurrency, has increased by 450% over the course of 2018
  • 50% of sensitive data breaches are made by organized criminal groups, 12% by nation-states or groups affiliated with them, and 28% by insiders to the business

Executives can be victims…

  • In the corporate realm, senior executives are primary targets of hackers, fraud and phishing scams due to their high level of access to valuable corporate information. Globally, 40% of companies cited their C-level employees, including the CEO, as their highest cybersecurity risk.
  • Targeted attacks are one of the fastest-growing tactics used by cybercriminals. When targeting high level executives, hackers often rely on a combination of attacks, including whaling (phishing attacks on senior managers), executive impersonation, and business email compromise (BEC). BEC attackers attempt to compromise email accounts to identify business partners and learn how to mimic the target’s writing style, and thus more convincingly pose as a legitimate contact.

To access the list of courses that will be offered as part of this scheme please click here.

Keep your business running securely . . .

Learn how to keep your business running securely and successfully by fighting cybersecurity threats:

  • Security risks and prevention methods
  • The ten commandments of organizational security
  • Pushing the perimeter: how to look beyond traditional defenses into the dark web and artificial intelligence (AI)
  • GDPR and other privacy regulations and their impact on IT & security professionals
  • How to respond to security incidents

To access the list of courses that will be offered as part of this scheme please click here.