Small Businesses Are Attacked by Hackers 3x More than Larger Ones

Why Are Smaller Companies Targeted More?

Have you felt more secure from cyberattacks  because you have a smaller business? Maybe you thought that you couldn’t  possibly have anything that a hacker could want? Didn’t think they even knew  about your small business.

Well, a new report by  cybersecurity firm Barracuda Networks debunks this myth. Their report  analyzed millions of emails across thousands of organizations. It found that  small companies have a lot to worry about when it comes to their IT security.

Barracuda Networks found something alarming.  Employees at small companies saw 350%  more social engineering attacks than those at larger ones. It defines a  small company as one with less than 100 employees. This puts small businesses  at a higher risk of falling victim to a cyberattack. We’ll explore why below.

Why Are  Smaller Companies Targeted More?

There are many reasons why hackers see small  businesses as low-hanging fruit. And why they are becoming larger targets of  hackers out to score a quick illicit buck.

Small  Companies Tend to Spend Less on Cybersecurity

When you’re running a small business, it’s often  a juggling act of where to prioritize your cash. You may know cybersecurity  is important, but it may not be at the top of your list. So, at the end of  the month, cash runs out, and it’s moved to the “next month” wish list of  expenditures.

Small business leaders often don’t spend as much  as they should on their IT security. They may buy an antivirus program and  think that’s enough to cover them. But with the expansion of technology to  the cloud, that’s just one small layer. You need several more for adequate  security.

Hackers know all this and see small businesses as  an easier target. They can do much less work to get a payout than they would  trying to hack into an enterprise corporation.

Every  Business Has “Hack-Worthy” Resources

Every business, even a 1-person shop, has data  that’s worth scoring for a hacker. Credit card numbers, SSNs, tax ID numbers,  and email addresses are all valuable. Cybercriminals can sell these on the  Dark Web. From there, other criminals use them for identity theft.

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 make a larger score. Many smaller companies provide  services to larger companies. This can include digital marketing, website  management, accounting, 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.



Small  Business Owners Are Often Unprepared for Ransomware

Ransomware has been one of the fastest-growing  cyberattacks of the last decade. 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 the ransomware.

Even if a hacker can’t get as much ransom from a  small business as they can from a larger organization, it’s worth it. They  often can breach more 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

Employees  at Smaller Companies Usually 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 and  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 unsuspecting  cooperation.

Phishing causes over 80% of  data breaches.

A phishing email sitting in an inbox can’t  usually 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 ploys can  significantly increase your cybersecurity. Security awareness training is as  important as having a strong firewall or antivirus.

Need  Affordable IT Security Services for Your Small Business?

Reach out today to schedule a technology  consultation. We offer affordable options for small companies. This includes  many ways to keep you protected from cyber threats.

Article used with permission from The Technology Press.