Hackers Target Smaller Businesses Three Times More Compared to Larger Organizations


Are you more protected against cyberattacks if your business is smaller than others? Maybe you thought hackers couldn't get anything from you because they didn't even know about your small operation. But this could not be further from the truth!

Barracuda Networks' new report dispels this myth. Analyzing millions of emails from thousands of companies, the report revealed that small businesses must remain concerned about IT security.

Barracuda Networks recently discovered something shocking: employers at smaller companies experienced 350% more social engineering attacks than larger organizations. A small business is defined as one employing less than 100 personnel, placing them at greater risk from cybercriminals. We'll explain why this is so.

Why are smaller companies being targeted more?

Hackers view small businesses as easy targets for various reasons. That makes them increasingly appealing to those seeking to make a quick buck.

Cybersecurity is more cost-effective for small businesses
Running a small business can be tricky; it's often difficult to decide where your money goes. While cybersecurity may be necessary, it may not be at the top of your priority list. When the cash runs out at month's end, it may not be on everyone's wish list for the coming month.

Many small business owners underestimate the importance of IT security

While they may think they have enough protection by purchasing an antivirus program, with today's advances in cloud computing, this is only one layer - for comprehensive protection you need many more layers.

Hackers are aware of this and often target smaller businesses as easier targets. By doing less work, hackers can reap a much smaller reward than they would receive for breaking into an enterprise company.

Every business has "Hack-Worthy" resources

Even small businesses with just one employee possess valuable information that hackers can exploit. Social Security Numbers, tax ID numbers, email addresses and credit card numbers all contain valuable data that cybercriminals could easily sell on the Dark Web to other criminals for identity theft purposes.

Here is some data that hackers could potentially seek:

  • Customer Records

  • Employer Records

  • Information Regarding Bank Accounts

  • Email and password details

  • Payment card details

Small businesses provide an entry point into larger corporations

Hackers often benefit from attempts at penetration into a small company's network. Many smaller firms provide services to larger organizations such as digital marketing, website management and accounting.

Many vendors are digitally connected with certain client systems. While hackers don't need this connection in order to hack into your company, it does give them an advantage: they can attack two firms simultaneously.

Ransomware has become a particularly significant issue for small business owners in the past decade, with estimates suggesting that over 71% have been victim to ransomware attacks as of 2022. This type of cyberattack is one of the fastest-growing types of attacks ever seen - it has now infected over 71% of businesses globally.

Furthermore, ransom-paying victims have been increasing. 63% of companies now pay attackers money in order to obtain the key that decrypts a ransomware attack.

Even though hackers cannot collect as much ransom from large companies as larger firms do, it is still worth trying. Hackers tend to have more success with smaller firms than larger ones.

Companies paying ransom money feed the monster, and cybercriminals join in. Newer ransomware attackers usually target smaller, easier-to-breach companies.

Smaller companies' employees tend not to receive security training.

Small business owners may prioritize other matters over this, such as employee retention or sales and operations. They could neglect providing this necessary step if their focus is solely on maintaining existing staff or improving efficiency within the business.

Training employees on password best practices and how to detect phishing attempts is not always done

Leaving networks vulnerable to human error - one of the greatest threats.

Hackers require user cooperation in order to carry out most cyberattacks. It's like vampires asking for assistance from unwitting victims in order to invite them in, with the most popular method being phishing emails.

Phishing accounts for more than 80% of data breaches.

Phishing emails sent directly to your inbox are likely not malicious. In order for the user to gain access to a malicious website, they must click either on the link or open an attachment. After that, the attack begins.

Your cybersecurity can be significantly enhanced by teaching employees how to detect security threats and exploits. Promoting security awareness among staff members is just as essential as having a robust antivirus or firewall in place.

Small Business IT Security Solutions: Affordable Options

Get in touch today to arrange a technology consultation. Small businesses can find cost-effective solutions from us, with multiple options to protect against cyber threats. We look forward to hearing from you!