Nejnavštěvovanější odborný portál pro stavebnictví a technická zařízení budov

Jak se mohou malé a střední podniky v Číně bránit proti počítačové kriminalitě?

Čína má největší populaci užívající internet. Jde asi o 642 milionů uživatelů. Ještě více pozoruhodné je, že dalších půl miliardy lidí v Číně stále internet nepoužívá. Vzhledem k rychle rosoucímu trhu především s levnými smartphony se však očekává další rychlý nárůst uživatelů internetu.

China has the largest online population of about 642 million online users. More remarkable though is the fact that another half a billion people in China are not yet connected and can still join the club of connected netizens.

Through the rise of low-cost smartphones and the expansion of internet connectivity in particular, more and more Chinese are expected to come online.

It is estimated that 60% of Chinese netizens have already been browsing the web with their smartphones. They use the online world for activities such as shopping (e-commerce), communicating (social media), or entertainment (online gaming).

Top 8 Reasons That Make SMEs Attractive Targets for Cyber Criminals

  1. Not enough resources spent on cybersecurity (time, money, expertise);
  2. No IT specialist in the team;
  3. No risk awareness;
  4. Lack of employee training;
  5. No regular security updates;
  6. Outsourcing to the wrong contractors (you get what you pay for);
  7. No endpoint security (BYOD – Bring Your Own Device);
  8. Bad news: SMEs (with annual revenues of less than $100 million) cut security spending by 20% in 2014.

As a result, tech companies are benefiting greatly from this trend, such as the smartphone producer Xiaomi, one of the world's most valuable start-ups.

Yet the stakes are high.

In 2013, cybercrime caused damage worth $37 billion in China. As more Chinese netizens use mobile payment systems, cyber criminals will seek golden opportunities to hack into these financial systems and their devices.

The risk is all the more real without profound IT knowledge which can make companies, governments and individuals become easy victims of growing cybercrimes.

What does this mean for SMEs? Two questions are especially important to understand.

How can SMEs in China defend themselves against cybercrime?

Though media coverage on cyber incidents such as hacking, IP theft, and espionage is mushrooming, and despite the fact that governments are increasing their focus on "cyber" issues, SMEs are still not investing enough in cybersecurity.

A study by the Ponemon Institute in 2013 has found that only 58% consider cybersecurity relevant for their businesses and that 42% do not invest enough in their IT security.

A reason might be that in cyberspace it is much easier to attack than to defend. And not everyone is tech-savvy enough to understand the complex technical processes. For SMEs with limited resources, here are five tips that can help preventing major cyber incidents from happening:

  1. Train your staff in cyber security: Most cyber intrusions can be prevented if your staff is well trained and aware of the various cyber risks. This is especially important to SMEs that tolerate BYOD practices (bring your own device).
  2. Beware of pirated software in China: If you buy a PC in China, ask yourself if the pre-installed software is pirated and can be updated.
  3. Update your software regularly: Take Microsoft Internet Explorer as an example. A lot of Chinese employees are accustomed to using outdated versions of Internet Explorer. Very few use open-source web browsers such as Firefox which are updated on a regular basis.
  4. Get ready with a diversified strategy for your digital needs: Label all your digital matters according to their security level. What can be made public and what needs to be protected? For instance, there is nothing wrong with hosting your site in China if it only contains public information. If you are new to China, sensitive data though should be handled by your trusted systems from abroad.
  5. Insist on rigorous passwords: 94% of attacks could have been prevented with basic “cyber-hygiene”. The best example is that the most popular password in use today is “12345”, and the second most popular is “password”.

What efforts are currently undertaken by the Chinese government?

The Chinese government wants a "healthy development" of its internet. It wants its cyberspace to be clean of "spiritual pollution" (online rumors or pornography). As a result, strong internet regulation policies are being enforced in order to gain sovereignty over cyberspace. To the disadvantage of foreign SMEs in China, access to foreign websites and their digital services are often blocked or being restricted (e.g. Facebook, YouTube, Google, and Microsoft Windows).

The result of this is that local firms will shape the digital landscape in China. Most of them offer similar services that mainly target the Chinese audience, but will become increasingly innovative. Overall, the Chinese government believes that advanced digital technologies will lead to more innovations that aid economic growth.

SMEs in China should strengthen their efforts to better understand the Chinese digital market with its booming service providers, but also beware of the inherent risks.

With more development in local IT services, SMEs can benefit from a growing number of business opportunities; however IT newcomers still need to prove that they can offer quality services, great customer support, and security. The risks are that the chosen company might become a failed investment and might even negatively disrupt business operations.

To get further advice on improving cyber security for your business in China, watch the webinar recording on this topic available on the EU SME Centre’s website.

For an overview of the ICT market in China, please download the Centre’s sector report. An updated version will be available in May 2015.