As our digital landscape continues to evolve at lightning speed, so does the approach of today’s cyber attacker.
With ever-advancing, sophisticated means of disruption, they turn their attention to smaller businesses, as easy targets from which to obtain as much information as possible.
Statistics indicate that 43% of cyberattacks are aimed at small businesses, yet only 14% are armed to defend themselves.
So why are small businesses targeted so heavily?
And what can they do to stay one step ahead?
Here we explain the real reasons behind small business cyberattacks.
Underestimation and misunderstanding
Research highlights a common attitude amongst small businesses - that, due to their size, they’re safe from threats.
In recent surveys, it was recorded that only two percent of small business owners considered cybersecurity a top priority.
The vast majority don’t appear to consider cyber attacks a significant threat, therefore dropping their guard.
This is precisely why cyber attackers have shifted their focus onto these unassuming, smaller businesses.
The laissez-faire take on cybersecurity could be the greatest downfall of many businesses, as they unintentionally open the door to cyber attackers.
READ MORE: What Is Ransomware?
1. Limited resources
As a new business, particularly a startup, resources are usually limited.
Cybersecurity tends to fall down the list of priorities, and safe internet practices are almost non-existent.
Many small businesses that have limited resources face decisions as to where to place their financial focus.
Cybersecurity solutions do cost, but not as much as a cyberattack or data breach.
Unfortunately, many new companies simply do not have the means to invest in a high-quality cybersecurity solution.
2. Poorly trained employees
Unlike large corporate companies, smaller businesses tend to lack the resources to employ a competent IT security team.
This means that they will typically have two to three employees with limited know-how, and a limited budget to upskill.
Information is the prime target of most attacks, and without the safeguarding of company data, it poses a considerable risk.
The lack of opportunity to invest in cybersecurity personnel leads to business owners taking responsibility for their own cyber protection, with little to no prior experience.
This lack of knowledge leaves many small businesses vulnerable and susceptible to potential attacks.
3. Fewer consequences for cybercriminals
Cybercriminals target small businesses because they know that they are likely to get away with it unscathed.
Small business owners who have faced a cyberattack often don’t know how to track down the criminals, meaning attacks are carried out with little to no follow-up or persecution.
Owners are left feeling powerless, so rarely report cybercrime to the authorities, believing that little will come of it.
Only 10% of cybercrimes reported by small business owners end in convictions.
Cybercriminals identify this weakness and hone in on small businesses entirely unthreatened.
4. Invest in security
You shouldn’t let poor cybersecurity come in the way of your success, and there are plenty of ways you can protect yourself against potential attackers.
Taking cybersecurity seriously and investing in a tool designed to help small businesses like yours is the first step in gaining the valuable protection you need.
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