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

Have you felt more secure from cyberattacks because you have a smaller business? a New report by cybersecurity firm Barracuda Networks debunks this myth.

Have you felt more secure from cyberattacks because you have a smaller business? Maybe you thought you couldn’t have anything that a hacker could want. You 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 much to worry about regarding 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. It puts small businesses at a higher risk of falling victim to a cyberattack. As the best provider of cyber security in Orlando, we always keep our clients up-to-date on the latest threats. We’ll explore why smaller companies are targeted more 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 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 essential, 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. It would help if you had 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 try to hack into an enterprise corporation. 

Every Business Has “Hack-Worthy” Resources

Every business, even a 1-person shop, has data 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 a small business's network, they can often make a more significant score. Many smaller companies provide services to larger companies. It can include digital marketing, website management, accounting, and more.

Vendors are often digitally connected to specific 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 have experienced ransomware attacks. 

The percentage of victims that pay the ransom to attackers has also been increasing. An average of 63% of companies spend the attacker's money hoping to get 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 cybercriminals 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 usually low 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 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. It 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. The user needs to either open a file attachment or click a link that will take them to a malicious site. It then launches the attack.

Teaching employees how to spot these ploys can significantly increase your cybersecurity. Security awareness training is as essential as having a strong firewall or antivirus.

Need Affordable IT Security Services for Your Small Business?

Contact the leading provider of cyber security in Orlando, TradeWeb, today to schedule a technology consultation. We offer affordable options for small companies. It includes many ways to keep you protected from cyber threats.

The article was used with permission from The Technology Press. 

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