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Chief Executive Officer of the SBA, Sen. Dr. Lynette Holder.

BUSINESS MONDAY - SBA prepares members for the ‘new normal’

The emergence of COVID-19 has forced small business owners across the globe to acknowledge and utilise e-Business tools in an effort to survive and maintain relevance.

In light of this, the Small Business Association (SBA) recently held a webinar entitled, “The New Normal – The Advent of E-Business”, to better equip the local small business sector for this transition.

The session, sponsored by Flow Business, included tips on how to effectively work from home and the best technologies available to simplify remote work. Notably, the session took these discussions a step further by examining the cybersecurity risks involved with telecommuting and the necessary precautions that small business owners should take to avoid cyber-attacks.

Assistant Manager in Risk Advisory at Deloitte and presenter at the session, Dwight Robinson, expressed the true gravity of the situation, highlighting that prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, only 27% of global businesses worked remotely.

However, as of March 31, 2020, more than 60% of businesses worldwide were now operating from home. This significant increase in remote work, he articulated, would also cause an exponential rise in cybersecurity attacks, as most businesses were not adequately prepared for this shift.

Robinson emphasised this point by noting that between March 11 - 26, 2020 alone, there had been recordings of over 400 000 incidents of spam emails by hackers, pertaining to COVID-19 in North America and Europe.

Small business owners were therefore encouraged to take the issue seriously as they were not immune to these attacks as a result of their size.

CEO of the SBA, Sen. Dr. Lynette Holder, echoed this sentiment, stating that although the association was a non-profit organisation, it too had been a victim of cyberattacks in the past and had since increased its online security protocols to prevent future occurrences.

“In light of the expected increase in operating digitally, small firms must be more guarded and employ the solutions to mitigate the risk associated with doing business online,” the CEO added, noting that it may require an up-front investment, but will pay significant dividends in the future.

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