Smaller Companies Targeted More. That’s a Fact
There are few good reasons why hackers see small businesses as low-hanging fruit. Small business has a target mark on their back from the moment they open business.
Spending Less on Cybersecurity
We know. Running small business is it’s often a juggling act of where to prioritize your hard-earned money. You probably know that cybersecurity and business continuity is important, but let’s be honest – usually it is not at the top of your long list. A lot of people see IT Security as ‘expense’ not as investment or insurance policy. At the end of the month, cash runs out, and topic is moved to the “next month” wish list.
Small business leaders often don’t spend as much as they should on their IT security. They may get an antivirus software off the shelf in local store and think that’s enough to cover them. But with the expansion of technology to the cloud, that’s just one small step towards protecting your environment. You need several more layers for adequate security.
Hackers know all of this and see small businesses as an easier target. They can do much less work (if any!) to get a payout, comparing to if they would be trying to hack into a corporation.
“Hack-Worthy” Resources are everywhere
Every business, even a 1-person shop, has data that’s worth scoring for a hacker. Credit card numbers, personal data, and email addresses are all valuable. Cybercriminals can sell these on the Dark Web. From there, other criminals use them for identity theft. “I am too small to be hacked” – we hear this all the time…
Here are some of the data that hackers will go after:
- Customer records
- Employee records
- Bank account information
- Emails and passwords
- Payment card details
Small Businesses Can Provide Entry into Larger Ones
If a hacker can breach the network of a small business, they can often search for a larger score. Many companies provide services to other, often bigger business. This can include digital marketing, website management, accounting services, and more.
Vendors are often digitally connected to certain client systems. This type of relationship can enable a multi-company breach. While hackers don’t need that connection to hack you, it is a nice bonus. They can get two companies for the work of one.
Ransomware – a True Nightmare of Any Business in 2022 and beyond
Ransomware has been one of the fastest growing cyberattacks of the last decade. We have covered this here many times already and we will keep talking about this as it is VERY IMPORTANT. So far in 2022, over 71% of surveyed organizations experienced ransomware attacks.
The percentage of victims that pay the ransom to attackers has also been increasing. Now, an average of 63% of companies pay the attacker money in hopes of getting a key to decrypt their data.
Even if a hacker can’t get as much ransom from a small business as they can from a bigger fish, it’s still well worth it. They easily can breach more of those small companies than they can larger ones.
When companies pay the ransom, it feeds the beast and more cyber criminals join in. And those newer to ransomware attacks will often go after smaller, easier-to-breach companies
Users at Smaller Companies Aren’t Trained in Cybersecurity
Another thing is not usually high on the list of priorities for a small business owner. We’re talking about ongoing employee cybersecurity training. They may be doing all they can just to keep good staff. Plus, priorities are often sales and operations.
Training employees on how to spot phishing or password best practices often isn’t done. This leaves networks vulnerable to one of the biggest dangers, human error.
In most cyberattacks, the hacker needs help from a user. It’s like the vampire needing the unsuspecting victim to invite them inside. Phishing emails are the device used to get that ‘cooperation’.
Phishing causes over 80% of data breaches.
A phishing email sitting in an inbox usually doesn’t do anything. It needs the user to either open a file attachment or click a link that will take them to a malicious site. This then launches the attack.
Teaching employees how to spot these messages can significantly increase your cybersecurity. IT Security awareness training is as important as having a strong firewall or antivirus.
Need Affordable IT Security Services for Your Small Business?
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