Do you have a small business? Do you think that you are too small to be targeted by hackers? Or maybe don’t have anything that a hacker would want? They probably don’t even know about your small business, right?
Well, a cybersecurity firm Barracuda Networks, thinks otherwise. Their report analyzed millions of emails from thousands of organizations. And they found that small companies have a lot to worry about.
Researchers found somewhat alarming statistics. Employees at small companies saw 3.5 times more social engineering attacks than those at bigger ones. This data clearly shows that small businesses are more likely to fall victim to a cyberattack just from the sheer number of attacks against them.
There are many reasons why hackers see small businesses as an easier target, and why attacks on smaller businesses by hackers who are out to score a quick illicit buck became more frequent.
When you’re running a small business, it’s often a balancing act of where to invest your cash. You may know that cybersecurity is important, or even thought about outsourcing cybersecurity, but it may not be high enough on your list. So, at the end of the month, your cash runs out, and cybersecurity gets moved to the “next month” list.
Small business owners often cut costs way too much on things they know way too little about, and IT security is usually one of them. They may buy an antivirus service subscription and think that’s enough to completely cover them. But with the expansion of technology to the cloud, antivirus software became just a small layer of modern IT security solutions. To be adequately protected from cyberattacks you may need several more.
Hackers are well aware of it and see small businesses as an easier target. They understand that they can do less work and still get a payout, compared to trying to hack into a bigger company.
Every business, even a small online 1-person shop, has data that’s worth scoring. Credit card info, social security numbers, tax ID numbers, and email login credentials are all valuable. Cybercriminals can sell them on Dark Web forums. From there, other criminals may use them for identity theft, wire fraud, or other illegal schemes.
Here are some of the data that hackers will gladly go after:
Many smaller companies provide services to larger companies. Services like digital marketing, website management, accounting, etc. If a hacker breaches the network of a smaller business, they will most likely attempt to breach a bigger one as well.
Most vendors are digitally connected to their clients’ IT systems. Such type of relationship can enable a multi-company breach. While hackers don’t need such connection to hack a business, it is a nice bonus for them, they can kill two birds with one stone.
Ransomware has been one of the fastest-growing types of cyberattacks in the last decade. So far in 2022, 71% of organizations surveyed experienced one or multiple ransomware attacks. And the percentage of victims that pay the ransom has also been increasing. An average of 63% of companies that have suffered a ransomware attack paid their attackers in hopes of getting rid of the ransomware and decrypting their files.
Even if a hacker can’t get as much money from a small business as they could get from a larger organization, it’s still worth it. Breaching smaller companies is faster and easier than larger ones.
When victims pay the ransom, it motivates more cybercriminals to join in. And those newer hackers with less experience in ransomware attacks will often go after smaller, easier-to-breach businesses.
Another thing that is usually pretty low on the list of priorities for a small business owner is cybersecurity training. We’re talking about proper repeated employee cybersecurity awareness training.
Training employees on how to spot phishing attacks and how to properly protect their personal as well as business data often isn’t explained to them. This leaves even most high-tech networks vulnerable to one of the biggest dangers, human error.
In most types of cyberattacks, the hacker needs some degree of cooperation from a victim. Just like the classical vampire needs the unsuspecting victim to invite them into their house. Usually, it is done through “phishing emails” or their more modern counterparts “smishing messages”.
A phishing email by itself can’t usually do anything. It needs the victim to either open a file attachment or click a link that will take them to a malicious website. Thus, launching the attack.
Phishing attacks caused over 80% of all data breaches.
Teaching your employees how to spot these hacking attempts can significantly increase your cybersecurity. Security awareness training is as important as having a proper antivirus or a firewall setup.
Reach out today to schedule a free consultation. EB Solution offers affordable IT security services to small and medium-sized businesses. This includes cybersecurity services, secure network engineering, and business continuity and disaster recovery to keep you protected from cyber threats.