Why Are Small Businesses Interesting Targets For Cybercriminals
You might think great businesses are more threatened by data breaches and cyber attacks than small businesses. They do, but that’s not the case every time.
Savvy tech hackers know no boundaries. When it comes to making a profit, they can breach the firewall of your security system and gain access to everything. Unless they are not paid for their actions, they might not take huge risks in peeking through systems. Of course, money is enough to lure either cyber criminals or any other accuser.
Contrary to people’s belief, small business owners are more prone to cyber-attacks than any other service in the souks. Verizon’s Data Breach Investigation Report 2020 (DBIR) shows that every one in three data breaches involved a small business. The facts and figures are intriguing as the breaches are not just limited to the United States businesses but businesses across the globe.
How do cybercriminals attack?
Cybercriminals seek several vulnerabilities to reach the destination in a system they want to take into control. Some of the common attacks that small businesses are exposed through applications, software, data, and network. Some common attacks include:
- Malware – They are malicious software such as Trojan horses, spyware, keyloggers, and viruses.
- Phishing Attacks – Misleading emails and messages in order to gain sensitive information like social security numbers, passwords, and credit card numbers.
- Social Engineering – Manipulate individuals into divulging confidential or personal information that may be used for fraudulent purposes.
- Insider threat – When an active/former employee disrupts internal security by sharing or accessing sensitive information.
- Ransomware – A specific malware type that encrypts your data, making it inaccessible until the ransom is paid.
- Consistent threat – When a virus enters the system, it remains undetected until it extracts data for money or any other benefit.
What do the statistics reveal?
A thousand US-based business owners participated in a survey back in April, which showed that 9 percent of business owners accepted that their businesses were attacked by cybercriminals. After conducting deep research, it was revealed that 50% of the small businesses faced at least one common cyberattack.
Additionally, it was surprising for National Commission to know that 68% of the businesses didn’t have a substantial resources for combating cyberattacks.
According to a report shared by FireEye and Marsh & McLennan Companies. Businesses take around 146 days to identify a cyberattack on their systems. The damage could be imagined in that huge period of time.
5 reasons why hackers are attracted to small businesses?
- They possess extensive data: As said, cybercriminals know no boundaries. If they can catch large fish from the pool, phishing small ones is not a difficult task for them. Tech offenders know that small businesses have loads of data that would be easy to offload from their website and make a good profit selling them on the Dark Web. This data may include property, business information, medical records, emails, contacts, and other useful information.
- Way to reach larger companies: In today’s world, businesses are digitally associated with each other. They need one another to manage the supply chain, perform transactions, and share information. While a large number of huge businesses invest in preventing their systems from hacking, penetrating through small businesses to get into the systems of large businesses is less challenging than attacking them directly.
- Easy to breach security: Since enterprise businesses set up an entire team of security professionals to handle the security tasks. Small businesses usually do not have resources to create a full fledged security department. So, the person involved in managing the security often wears many caps while performing business operations. Thus affecting security tightness.
- Inadequate training for cyber security: Small businesses remain occupied with expanding and managing their businesses. Sadly, they don’t often educate, train or supervise their employees regarding cyber security. However, this negligence makes the companies more vulnerable to cyber-attacks and ultimately have to pay a huge cost. Although, 95% of the cyber-attacks occur because of human error.
- Insignificant security for employees working from home: According to research conducted in the financial year 2020, there was a 600% surge in cyberattacks associated with COVID-19. Moreover, 40% of the companies that provided work-from-home facilities to their workers reported an escalation in cyber hits.
Ways to protect your business from tech hackers?
No matter how much you think your company or business is insignificant to the cyber attackers, you never know what kind of data they want to suck up from your website or to what business they will reach through your domain. Plus, it is also unimaginable what they are going to do with this data and the amount they would be making out of it.
But don’t worry, that’s not the end of the story. There are some essential ways that you can opt to prevent your website from hackers, and on the same side, you will have peace of mind. These steps include (but are not limited to):
- Performing routine vulnerability scans and penetration tests to ensure your systems are secure and patched on time.
- Performing background checks before employing the employees to ensure they don’t have a history of cyber crimes.
- Educating employees of the firm to apply specific protocols while opening files, sending attachments, or providing the sensitive information to anyone.
- Creating a backup for the sensitive data so the lost information can be recovered in the event of cyberattacks.
- Make sure all the systems and software attached to your business are and regularly updated and completely protected with compatible firewall and antivirus programs.
- Insuring your business with cyber liability insurance for your business security solutions.
Small businesses that are turning their heads to security and managing their operation on a shoestring budget may don’t need to have all the above securities in place. While proactive measures may feel daunting but the basics is the place to start. With consistency and planning, any business can safely reach a robust foundation, which aids in growing the business safely.