Small businesses historically have had the mindset that they are not a target for hackers due to their size, but never have they been so wrong.
Sarah Green, a cyber security expert and business manager for Cyber Security at Training 2000, says that one of the most dangerous phrases used by small businesses is: “It’ll never happen to us.”
“Small businesses may feel that they aren’t likely to be a target due to their size and that hackers couldn’t possibly be interested in what they do – but in reality the exact opposite is true,” Green adds.
– Source: The Guardian
Hackers are targeting small businesses on a much higher frequency than large businesses. In fact, according to the US House Committee on Small Business, 71% of cyber attacks are aimed at businesses with less than 100 employees.
Hackers know that small businesses are less inclined to invest in cyber-security so it makes them a much more attractive target. Think of it like this, as a burglar presented with two houses, would you pick the house that has the front door left open (no firewall) or the house that has an iron gate (firewall) on the front door?
In the UK, the latest Government Security Breaches Survey found that 74% of small organizations reported a security breach in 2015 and SMEs are being directly targeted by hackers.
In fact, Symantec reports that over half of spear phishing attacks are carried out against small businesses. And the ransomware trend is increasing with many small businesses suffering the consequences. Intermedia reports that 40% of ransomware attacks in 2015 targeted small businesses.
It seemed like just another ordinary day for staff at vehicle hire company MNH Platinum. Little did they know that the simple click of an email link was about to threaten their entire business.
It was early last year when the Blackburn-based firm was the victim of a virus which encrypted over 12,000 files on its company network. A ransom demand followed – the criminals would decrypt the company’s files in exchange for more than £3,000.
With the virus proving impossible to remove without the loss of crucial company data, the firm had no choice but to pay up.
“We were completely unprepared for a cyber breach simply due to a lack of awareness of the magnitude an attack of this type could have through mistakenly clicking a link in an email,” says managing director Mark Hindle. “I am thankful that we had a lucky escape, in that I was able to retrieve the documents that are crucial to the running of the business, albeit at a price.”
– Source: The Guardian
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