Smaller Businesses are Impacted Three Times More Than Larger Ones. Here is Why.

Have you felt more secure from cyberattacks because you have a smaller business? Perhaps you believed you possessed nothing that a hacker could desire; you didn’t think they knew about your small business.

A new analysis from Barracuda Networks dispels this notion. In their review, millions of e-mail from thousands of organizations showed that small businesses have significant concerns regarding their IT security.

Barracuda Networks discovered something alarming. Smaller organizations saw 350 percent more social engineering attacks than their larger counterparts, increasing the likelihood that small enterprises will fall prey to a cyberattack. We will discuss why below.

Why are smaller firms more frequently targeted?
Simply Put, Small Businesses are viewed as Easy Targets.  But why?

Small businesses typically spend less on cybersecurity: When running a small business it can be challenging to determine where to prioritize your funds. You may recognize the need for cybersecurity but it may not be your top priority. Therefore, at the end of the month, cash runs out, and the expense shifts to the next month’s budget.

Small business leaders frequently spend less on IT security than they should. They may believe that purchasing an antivirus application provides sufficient protection. With the growth of technology to the cloud, however, this is but one layer. Proper security requires much more.

As a result, hackers view small enterprises as easier targets. They can earn money quickly and with considerably less effort than if they attempted to hack into a large organization.

Every organization has “hack-worthy” assets. Even a one-person operation has data that a hacker would find valuable. Credit card numbers, social security numbers, tax ID numbers, and e-mail addresses are all vital information. Cybercriminals can sell these items on the ‘dark web’. Other bad actors then utilize them for identity theft.

Frequently, small business owners are unprepared for ransomware. In the recent decade, ransomware has been one of the cyberattacks with the most significant growth rate. In the US, over 71 per cent of surveyed firms have experienced ransomware attacks thus far in 2022. The proportion of victims who pay the ransom demanded by assailants has also increased. Sixty-three per cent of businesses pay a ransom to obtain the decryption key. It is still worthwhile even if a hacker cannot obtain as much money from a small firm as a major corporation. Typically, they can infiltrate more small businesses than larger ones.

When businesses pay ransoms they feed the beast, and new cybercriminals join the ranks. And those unfamiliar with ransomware assaults will frequently target smaller, more vulnerable companies.

Security training
Employees at smaller businesses typically lack cybersecurity training. A small business owner’s secondary concern typically ranks low on the list of priorities. They may be doing all possible to retain quality employees. Staff are frequently not trained in identifying phishing and password best practices, which exposes networks to one of the greatest threats — human mistakes.

Most cyberattacks require assistance from a user. It is similar to a vampire seeking an innocent victim to let them inside. E-mail phishing is the method employed to obtain this unwitting assistance. Over 80 per cent of data breaches are the result of phishing. Typically, a phishing e-mail lingering in an inbox is ineffective. It requires the user to open an attachment or click a link that leads to a malicious website that initiates the offensive. Teaching staff how to identify these ploys can dramatically improve your organization’s security. Security awareness training is as essential as a robust firewall or antivirus program.