Many small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) assume that they are immune to cyber attacks and cyber crimes because they are not necessarily high profile targets. In recent headlines, big corporations such as Target, Sony, and JPMorgan Chase are experiencing very serious data breaches and losing large amounts of money due to cyber crimes and data breaches.
Although you often see these big corporations plastered in the news when they experience cyber attacks, smaller organizations do not attract as much attention in the media. That, however, does not mean that they are not victimized. In fact, 60% of all targeted attacks struck small and medium-sized businesses, according to Symantec’s 2015 Internet Security Threat Report.
According to the National Cyber Security Alliance, one in five small businesses experience a cybercrime each year and 60% of those small businesses go out of business within 6 months after a cyber attack.
Experts agree that smaller businesses are much more vulnerable and attractive to cyber criminals because they are often less secure. Also, thanks to automation, these cyber criminals have the ability to mass produce attacks.
Greg Shannon, chief scientist at the CERT Division of the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon, states that size is “somewhat of a red herring. It’s more about scale.” But, he adds that, “small business is a huge target because attacks are automated. The criminals don’t care who they’re attacking, and while any given business isn’t worth much, they have viruses or ransomware that allow them to attack thousands or millions.”
These automated attacks are especially damaging for SMBs because many of these small business owners don’t believe they will be hacked when up against the thousands of other businesses out there. Today, hackers aren’t wasting their time to pick and choose what businesses they want to attack, it’s all taken care of with automation.
One of the most common issues that affect the quality of security in SMBs is budgetary constraints. Since many of these businesses do not have a dedicated IT team, business owners are handling their own cybersecurity matters. They may be struggling to keep their businesses profitable and do not see an immediate need to expend resources on cyber-security, especially if they do not rely on online applications. This ideology has to change as the volume and scale of cyber attacks grow exponentially.
We at Axiom Cyber Solutions understand these concerns and want to encourage businesses of all sizes, but especially smaller organizations, that the need for proper cyber security should be on the forefront of your strategic vision.#FightBackWithAxiom