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Akamai warns: SMB security remains major risk

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Security offerings for small businesses need to look more like those offered to enterprises, according to Akamai global security senior director Fran Trentley.

Speaking to The Register while in Sydney for the Gartner Security & Risk Management Summit, Trentley said SMBs are increasingly seen as attack targets, and that poses a potentially devastating threat to economies.

In a world accustomed to high-profile attacks against large, famous enterprises, Trentley noted that small businesses remain drivers of most economies, are their largest employers, and in Akamai's experience they suffer terribly from security breaches.

“We’ve seen statistics that suggest twenty per cent of the attacks are against SMBs,” he said, and when those attacks are successful, “60 per cent of the targets close their business within six months”.

As an example of the scale of the challenge, Trentley pointed to the nearly-ubiquitous WordPress platform. There are now around 73 million WordPress sites, he noted, and while WordPress has a pretty good record of patching its vulnerabilities, there's a plethora of plugins out there with widely-varying responses to security threats.

Trentley told The Register Akamai is now working on refinements to its Kona site defender system, which crafts a reputation score for an application based on IP addresses. That, he said, will become more granular within the next 12 to 18 months, so as to fingerprint the server an app runs on rather than just the IP address. ®

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