This article was originally posted by Andrew Martins on businessnewsdaily.com.
Cyber Attacks and Your Small Business: A Primer for Cyber Security
- 61% of data breaches directly affect small businesses.
- Strong passwords, up-to-date antivirus software and implementing best practices are just a few tactics you should employ as part of an overall cybersecurity solution.
- There are countless types of attacks, but distributed denial of service (DDoS) and man-in-the-middle (MitM) attacks are among the most common.
Each second, more than 77 terabytes of internet traffic takes place online. As such, the internet has become a digital Silk Road that facilitates nearly every facet of modern life. And just as ancient merchants were sometimes beset by bandits on the actual Silk Road, today’s entrepreneurs can easily find themselves under attack from cyber malcontents working to derail companies through theft and disruption.
In recent years, headlines have spotlighted crippling cyber attacks against major corporations. While corporate cyber attacks resulted in millions of dollars in damages, most stories fail to mention the many data breaches that affect much softer targets: small businesses. According to Verizon’s 2019 Data Breach Investigations Report, 43% of breaches impacted SMBs.
You may not know when the next attack could occur, but taking proper precautions can hamper or completely stymie a hacker’s attempt at gaining access to your network. To help you avoid the mistakes of Target and, most recently, more than 20 government agencies, we’ve compiled info on why your SMB could be at risk and how to avoid a similar fate.
Why Cyber Hackers go after small businesses
When it comes to starting a small business, new owners have many decisions to make and often leave cybersecurity measures by the wayside. Unless they focus on shoring up their defenses, they may inadvertently end up leaving points of entry wide open for hackers. That can be a major problem. A report by the U.S. National Cyber Security Alliance estimated that 60% of all SMBs fail within six months of cyber attacks.
According to Towergate Insurance, SMBs often underestimate their risk level, with 82% of SMB owners saying they’re not targets for attacks. They believe that, researchers said, because they feel they “don’t have anything worth stealing.”
Stephen Cobb, a senior security researcher at antivirus software company ESET, said that SMBs fall into hackers’ cybersecurity sweet spot since they “have more digital assets to target than an individual consumer has but less security than a larger enterprise.”
Couple that with the costs associated with implementing proper defenses, and you have a situation that’s primed for intrusions. Since security breaches can be devastating to a SMB, owners are more likely to pay a ransom to get their data back. SMBs can merely be a steppingstone for attackers to gain access to larger businesses.
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