Is your business more secure from cyberattacks because it is smaller? Maybe you thought a hacker couldn’t possibly want anything you had? You didn’t even think they knew about your small business.
A new report by cybersecurity firm Barracuda Networks debunks this myth. Millions of emails were analyzed across thousands of organizations for their report. When it comes to IT security, small businesses face a lot of challenges.
Barracuda Networks discovered something alarming. The number of social engineering attacks at small companies is 350% higher than that at larger companies. A small company is defined as one with fewer than 100 employees. Cyberattacks are more likely to target small businesses because of this. Here’s why.
Why Are Smaller Companies Targeted More?
Hackers see small businesses as low-hanging fruit for many reasons. This is why they are becoming more popular targets for hackers looking to make a quick buck.
There is a tendency for small companies to spend less on cybersecurity
Running a small business can often be a balancing act when it comes to cash flow. Cybersecurity is important, but it may not be at the top of your priority list. As a result, at the end of the month, cash runs out, and expenditures are moved to the “next month” wish list.
Often, small business leaders don’t spend enough on IT security. They may think that purchasing an antivirus program will protect them. The cloud, however, is only one layer of technology. For adequate security, you need several more.
All this makes small businesses an easier target for hackers. Compared to hacking into a large corporation, they need to do a lot less work to get paid.
Every Business Has “Hack-Worthy” Resources
Even a one-person shop has data worth scoring for a hacker. Credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, tax ID numbers, and email addresses are all valuable information. These can be sold on the Dark Web by cybercriminals. They are then used by other criminals to steal identities.
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
A hacker can often make a larger score if he breaches the network of a small business. There are many smaller companies that provide services to larger companies. Digital marketing, website management, accounting, and more fall under this category.
Certain client systems are often digitally connected to vendors. Multi-company breaches can be enabled by this type of relationship. Despite the fact that hackers do not need that connection to hack you, it is a nice bonus. Two companies can do the work of one.
Small Business Owners Are Often Unprepared for Ransomware
One of the fastest-growing cyberattacks in the last decade is ransomware. Over 71% of surveyed organizations have experienced ransomware attacks so far in 2022.
There has also been an increase in the number of victims who pay the ransom to attackers. Currently, 63% of companies pay the attacker money to get a key to unlock the ransomware.
Even if hackers can’t get as much ransom from a small business as they can from a larger organization, it’s worth it. It is often easier for them to breach small companies than larger ones.
By paying the ransom, companies feed the beast, which attracts more cyber criminals. In addition, those who are new to ransomware attacks will often target smaller, easier-to-breach companies
Employees at Smaller Companies Usually Aren’t Trained in Cybersecurity
Another thing that small business owners rarely consider is ongoing cybersecurity training for employees. They may be doing everything they can to keep good employees. In addition, sales and operations are often the top priorities.
Employees are often not trained on phishing and password best practices. Human error is one of the biggest threats to networks.
Most cyberattacks require a user’s assistance. Like a vampire, it requires an unsuspecting victim to invite it in. This unsuspecting cooperation is obtained through phishing emails.
Phishing causes over 80% of data breaches.
When phishing emails sit in an inbox, they don’t usually do anything. The user must either open a file attachment or click a link that takes them to a malicious website. As a result, the attack is launched.
You can increase your cybersecurity significantly by teaching employees how to spot these ploys. It is as important to have a strong firewall and antivirus as it is to have security awareness training.
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