Rising Crypto Adoption in SMEs Is a Growing Cyber Threat
More than one-third of U.S. SMEs accepts cryptocurrency as payment for goods and services. That’s great for crypto adoption but doesn’t come without a cost.
One-Third of US SMEs Accepts Crypto Payments
Last month, Bitcoinist reported that more than one-third (36%) of U.S. small and medium-sized businesses now accept crypto payments. A further 59% of those businesses also buy digital currency for their own use.
That’s pretty huge when you consider crypto adoption. With around 30 million registered SMEs in the U.S., more than 10 million companies are transacting in crypto to some degree in the United States alone.
However, while it’s good news for the cryptocurrency industry, according to HSB, part of the reinsurance giant Munich Re, it represents a major cybersecurity risk.
With Rising Crypto Adoption Comes Greater Risk
Vice president of HSB Timothy Zeilman cited the benefits to SMEs for using accepting cryptocurrency payments. He noted that they could reduce companies’ processing fees and allow for faster payments. However, they’re likely to face a bigger problem in terms of cybersecurity.
The rise of crypto adoption unfortunately also spurns the rise of crypto crime. This leaves SMEs at an increased risk of computer attacks and cyber fraud. Zeilman said:
Cyber criminals follow the money and fraud can be a serious problem… A number of currency exchanges have been hacked or embezzled and millions of dollars were lost. Smaller businesses, especially those starting out, can’t afford to be cheated.
One of the most popular ways of infecting companies’ systems is by spreading malicious code through phishing emails. Smaller businesses are at greater risk since they tend to have fewer resources and are easier targets for hackers looking to divert computing power to verify and record cryptocurrency transactions.
HSB further notes that since the majority of cryptocurrency exchanges operate with little regulation, an SME owner may have no one to turn to in the event that fraud occurs, unlike when using the traditional banking system.
Education Is Key
As with retail users when it comes to crypto adoption, education is key. SMEs looking to accept cryptocurrency payments should take the time to understand the risks and seek robust solutions to ensure their online safety. According to Zeilman:
Small business owners should learn all they can about the technology before accepting cryptocurrency… And make sure they have strong data security and insurance to protect against cyber fraud and financial loss.
Do you agree that increased crypto adoption poses a higher cybersecurity risk to SMEs?
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