Hackers are Fully Focused on Small Businesses Today

Small businesses often think that they are a boring target for cyber attacks. Unfortunately, they are wrong. Today, hackers have been focusing increasingly on small businesses and using them as a stepping stone to target large ones.

According to an investigation of data breach incidents, out of 621 incidents in 2012, almost half happened to small companies. Symantec, a cyber-security corporation, confirmed this trend through a separate report wherein it stated that more than 30% of all cyber attacks in the said year occurred at businesses with less than 300 employees.

To a senior analyst at the RISK team of Verizon, Kevin Thompson, it is not a surprise that hackers have increasingly targeted small businesses and companies with fewer employees (usually less than 250). It has been a pattern for almost a decade, Thompson added. Because larger corporations are capable of upgrading and updating their security systems, it is difficult to hack into or breach their data systems. As these companies continue to put up more advanced security strategies, cyber-criminals are forced to look for other options. And indeed, they have managed to find one.

As many small businesses think that they are not a good target for cyber attacks, because of being “small”, they tend to neglect the importance of protecting and securing their database. This mindset becomes the means for hackers and cyber-criminals to continue their dirty work.

Andrew Singer, Symantec’s director of small business group, added the fact that small businesses do not have the money to install up-to-date security systems to every computer they have. Singer also said that small companies do not have 50- to 70-person Information Technology Department and because of this, they are very vulnerable to hacks and other cyber attacks.

Hackers have come up with different tactics to continue their own business. As they prey on small companies, they develop strategies to get the most of their victims.

Cyber-criminals have made smaller corporations as stepping stones to get into the larger ones. They carefully choose those small enterprises that have partnered with larger ones, and make the former the instrument to enter the latter’s major network.

Another scheme of cyber attackers is targeting small corporations in sunrise industries, or growth industries wherein they patiently wait for that company to be merged to or acquired by a large corporation. When that happens, they will gain access and hack or breach the system of the parent company.

Vikram Thakur, principal security response manager of Symantec, strongly advised that small companies need to ensure the security and protection of their computers and database. Because even if they are just “small” they still retain valuable data for hackers, like intellectual property, clients’ credit card digits, and money in the bank.

As cyber attacks continue to escalate, it is extremely important to do everything a business can, even in the simplest way, to protect everything they have. Even the most basic security strategies will do, which include updating security systems and antivirus software, using good passwords, and keeping essential business services from the Internet. No one should remain ignorant and complacent about the risk of being a target of cyber criminals.

 

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