Small Businesses: The New Target For Cyber-Criminals

Although in the past, small businesses were unlikely to become a target of cyber-criminals, this trend, however, seems to be changing at an accelerated pace in the recent years. The 2013 Symantec Internet Security Threat Report highlights new currents moving across the oceans of internet.

The report specifically highlights the rise of small business attacks, even claiming that they “are the path of least resistance for attackers.” Although 50 percent of all attacks were targeted on companies with fewer than 2,500 employees, consider this: of those 50 percent, businesses with under 250 employees comprised a stunning 62 percent. A 300 percent increase from the previous year!

This is especially alarming, considering that based on surveys conducted by Symantec, most small companies are not concerned about cyber-threats. To be more specific, in 2012, exactly two-thirds of small business owners are not concerned about neither internal nor external threats. The survey also points out that 59 percent of small businesses are unprepared to handle data breach.

What can you do to protect your company against the threat of hackers? Chris Hadnagy, the Founder of Social-Engineer, says that one of the biggest vulnerabilities are your people. Your employees should be taught to use stronger passwords and be on the lookout for sketchy emails, as well as thinking more critically about their actions online. “If you just want people to follow the rules–don’t think, just do–you create an easy environment for [hackers],” he says, while also advising to put in place the best tech barriers you can fit into your budget, such as a cloud based security app.