Small Businesses Now Get Attacked 350% More Than Big Ones

Cybercriminals’ activities continue to skyrocket among smaller businesses around the world. These types of attacks usually always leave companies or individuals with not only financial losses but also stolen data.

Barracuda, in a report titled “SpearPhishing: Top Threats and Trends Vol. 7”, discussed social engineering tactics employed by cybercriminals and how smaller businesses are three times more affected than larger businesses.

According to Barracuda’s report, thousands of emails were analyzed. The result showed that small businesses with less than 100 employees would get 350% more social engineering attacks than their counterparts in larger enterprises.

Ordinarily, it is believed that cybercriminals will be less interested in smaller businesses. So, what could be the driving force if these businesses are constantly attacked?

We are about to find out!

Why Are Smaller Businesses Constantly Attacked?

Barracuda maintains that smaller businesses are attacked more than larger ones because their employees are easy targets.

Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs) are easily targeted because of their economic value and lack of adequate security expertise. Organizations in this category often make the mistake of thinking that cybercriminals will not be drawn to their activities because of their size.

Sadly, this is not the case. The effect of attacks on small businesses is always devastating. The affected SMB has to deal with the loss of trust, associated legal fees, and a dent in the company’s image.

A study by CISCO revealed that 40% of  SMBs impacted by a cyber attack witnessed about 8 hours of downtime, which caused the business to encounter financial losses. This type of attack can cause the company to go into extinction.

What Are the Different Ways Smaller Businesses Are Vulnerable?

There are different ways cybercriminals come at small businesses. Social engineering tactics, Business Email Compromise, ransomware, and the absence of cyber hygiene are common issues small companies face.

  1. Social engineering tactics

This is one of the threats that are facing small businesses. Interestingly, they are mostly phishing scams.

Fraudsters employ phishing scams to trick victims into clicking on a malicious link. The scammer may pose as a legitimate company like Microsoft 365 and convince unsuspecting individuals to provide login credentials details.

 The scammer can access the company’s system and spread ransomware as soon as this works. These social engineering attacks are also increasingly coming via SMS, which people aren’t expecting.

  • Business Email Compromise (BEC)

This is the most significant type of fraud that scammers use. It is one of the biggest ways small businesses get attacked. Hackers employ this method to gain access to a company email account and then use that for various money-making purposes.

For example, a “CEO scam” that is often done is to breach the SMB owner’s email account and then send emails to employees requesting they buy a business-related gift card, with a promise of reimbursement. Scammers can also begin sending out convincing phishing emails from a company’s email domain.

  • Ransomware/double extortion

This is a growing concern for small businesses. With this approach, hackers infect the company’s network with ransomware and encrypt the information.

Hackers use the double extortion method not only to hijack the company’s data but also to demand a ransom is paid before the information is released. Sometimes, the hacker even threatens to publish the business data if the ransom is not paid.

Sadly, many small businesses do not have the resources to restore their data. As such, they end up paying the ransom without any certainty of getting back their data.

  • Absence of cyber hygiene

The absence of cybersecurity awareness training in small businesses increases the risk of a breach. Business leaders of small businesses are often less attentive to cybersecurity measures. They fail to train their employees to protect the company’s information adequately. As such, employees of small businesses can employ poor cyber hygiene.

These include not changing their passwords regularly, use of weak passwords, and neglecting the use of two-factor authentication. Neglecting these critical aspects of cybersecurity practices may cause security breaches for the business.

How Can Smaller Businesses Stay Protected?

As a rule, any business is responsible for keeping data safe. The dangers of not protecting data are expensive. Aside from being expensive, it can also ruin the organization’s reputation regardless of how long it was nurtured.

While you may look at cybersecurity tools and worry about the cost, a successful cyberattack is much more expensive. It can even cause small businesses to go out of business for good.  This must be avoided at all costs because the consequences are dire.

Small businesses must pay attention to their cybersecurity practices and take appropriate steps to protect their posture.

A good way for small businesses to stay protected is to invest in establishing cybersecurity infrastructure.

What Should You Do?

You don’t have to wait until you get attacked before you devise appropriate security measures to protect your small business. Do the right thing by contacting a reliable IT company.

Does your Tucson area business have questions about effective cybersecurity practices? Call ECN IT Solutions at 520-355-7553 or reach us online.