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Title: Cyber-attacks against small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) : the situation in Malta
Authors: Sammut, Vincent
Keywords: Small business -- Malta
Computer crimes -- Malta
Computer security -- Malta
Issue Date: 2017
Citation: Sammut, V. (2017). Cyber-attacks against small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) : the situation in Malta (Bachelor dissertation).
Abstract: In general, the adoption of technology by SMEs brought about innovations and conveniences that became critical towards the overall performance and the success to retain and attract new customers. Needless to say, the growing dependence on technology also transformed SMEs into a lucrative opportunity for cybercriminals, who exploit human and security vulnerabilities to gain access to companies' capital and/or private data. This study will look into the prevalence of cyber-attacks from a local context. Amongst others things, it will also evaluate the levels of commitment that local SMEs have towards cyber-security, and verify the costs of cyber-attacks in terms of direct losses, indirect losses and defence costs. Using a mixed methods approach, quantitative measures were gathered through the distribution of an online survey, and qualitative data was obtained from four interview sessions held with four local experts who shared their experiences and professional opinion. The data resulting from both approaches was then studied and compared to identify commonalities and/or differences. Findings suggested that cyber-attacks represent a reality which hinders local SMEs. Although from an international level there is overall concern about the level of awareness towards cyber-threats, from a local context native SMEs seem to be well cognisant about the prospects of becoming victims of cyber-attacks. Notwithstanding this, findings also indicate that local SMEs lack both education on the various shapes and forms cybercrime can take, as well as appropriate cybersecurity frameworks which are sufficiently robust to mitigate and lessen the burden of cyberattacks. The study delivers a number of recommendations which are aligned with a number of proposals forwarded by participants of this study. Suggestions for future research initiatives are also presented in relation to this research topic.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacSoW - 2017
Dissertations - FacSoWCri - 2017

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