Why Hackers Target Small Businesses

Author: 

htrone

As cybercrime around the world continues to dominate the news, it becomes increasingly necessary for business owners to evaluate their own data security measures.  Although newsworthy cyberattacks tend to focus on big corporations or large-scale attacks, small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are not immune from malicious attacks.  In fact, SMBs are frequently targeted by hackers as easy prey.  Consider the following reasons why your SMB may be at risk.

Downplaying the Risk: SMBs - often under the false assumption that their company size alone makes them safe from attack - tend not to invest in data security measures.  A study by the Ponemon Institute found that 58 percent of SMB managers do not consider data braeches in company risk assessments.  Moreover, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 65 percent of SMBs have no formal cybersecurity policy in place.  This lack of awareness and preparation makes SMBs low-hanging fruit for small-scale individual hackers and sophisticated cybercrime rings alike.

Easy Access:  SMBs with basic security measures in place may not realize their vulnerability.  A recent FireEye and Mandiant study found that 96 percent of hackers bypassed multiple layers of several SMBs' basic security protocols in a real-world scenario, suggesting businesses' overwhelming reliance on outdated solutions and a false sense of security.  Anti-malware software companies have the arduous task of keeping up with the latest advancements in hacking tactics, which, in turn, requires businesses to continually update and patch the software that they rely on for protection.  Without dedicated IT professionals on staff or only having one IT guru responsible for the breadth of these duties, updates can slip, opening the door for hackers to attack.

Big Payoffs:  Hackers have the power to leverage your company's stolen information for payment, whether they sell your files to a third-party or hold them for ransom.  The cost of a cyberattack or data breach can be astronomical, costing SMBs an average of $217 per stolen record according to the above referenced Ponemon Institute study.  Moreover, according to the above referenced U.N. study, of those attacks reported to law enforcement, only 10 percent of SMB cybercrimes result in a conviction.  Therefore, hackers are faced with a small risk/big reward scenario that entices more cybercriminals to approach cybercrime as a profession rather than a hobby.

Hackers are thinking of new ways to breach your systems every day.  How much time are you dedicating to securing your business data?  Contact Fraser to learn how to combat cyberattacks by taking strategic steps to protect your business data at sr@fraser-ais.com.