When hackers attack major corporations, everybody hears about it. What doesn’t always make the news is when cybercriminals attack small and medium businesses. Yet, it happens more than most people imagine.
According to Barkly.com, 58% of malware attacks are targeted at small businesses. In 2016, about 32% of small businesses were hit by at least one ransomware attack. The numbers are astounding, but the question most businessowners have is, “Why would cybercriminals even target a small or medium-sized business in the first place? Why not go for the big guys?” Cyberattacks happens to small and medium business all the time, and for several reasons.
Small Amounts Add Up
One reason that hackers like to hit small to medium businesses is that they can easily duplicate their efforts. All they have to do is to send an infected email to thousands of companies. It doesn’t matter if they only get a few hundred dollars with each hit. It doesn’t even matter if all the companies bite. It’s a numbers game. Every hit they make adds to a big payday for the hacker.
Because the loss is relatively small, many small business owners just let the incident pass without adding security measures. They consider it a cost of doing business. Large corporations, on the other hand, take these breaches very seriously. When something like this happens to them, they assess their security systems, uncover problems, and make changes. Guess what. As a small business owner, you can do the same.
Businesses Are More Vulnerable When Growing Fast
Small to medium-sized businesses may be in a state of rapid growth. During times when your company is expanding, it’s crucial to make sure all security measures keep pace with the growth of the company. Larger, more complex computer systems require more sophisticated security. As soon as they’re added, they need to be protected immediately. If they aren’t, the company is vulnerable until they are.
There’s no reason a smaller business should allow these vulnerabilities, though. The key to avoiding trouble is to work with a managed services provider as you grow. At each stage of your development, you can add whatever security systems are needed.
Smaller Businesses Are More Vulnerable to Financial Loss
Ransomware preys on the vulnerabilities of businesses. Hackers can take control of your data and demand payment before they will release it to you. Data loss can lead quickly to financial losses. The smaller your business is, the less money you can afford to lose. Hackers love this. It means that you may be so desperate to save your financial resources that you won’t hesitate to pay them if you think it will prevent further losses.
A better approach is to protect your systems before a ransomware attack. These attacks can ruin a company’s reputation and cost the company money and time. The investment you make in your I.T. security is minimal compared to the damage a cyberattack can do to your company.
Devices Are Used Off-Site without Proper Security Measures
Major corporations tend to have systems in place to ensure all company data is safe on any devices their employees use to access it. Smaller organizations may be laxer in letting staff members use their own laptops and smartphones without taking security precautions. Cybercriminals are aware of this and take advantage of it.
Yet, this doesn’t have to happen. No matter how small your business is, you can adopt security measures for any personal devices your employees use for your business. With the right systems in place, you can keep your corporate data segregated, secure emails and corporate documents, and enforce company policies. With proper mobile device management, you can keep your company data safe wherever your employees access it.
Smaller Businesses May Have Weaker Online Security
Large businesses typically have robust security systems for all their online activities. As the owner or manager of a small or medium business, you need to have secure systems, too. You need strong firewalls, spam and virus protection, data encryption, and secure servers and routers. You need to have systems in place to ensure that your data is as safe as possible from cyberthreats.
The right software and hardware can make a huge difference. Yet, you also need everyone in your company to observe appropriate security practices. An I.T. services provider can review your current security practices and help you create even better ones.
There’s Less Focus on Data Security Awareness
The largest corporations are obsessed with security. They are aware of it in every system they bring on board. They pay attention not only to what systems they have, but also to how their employees use them. They are always on alert for security risks and deal with them as soon as they arise.
As a small business owner, you need to be just as aware of your own security issues. You need to detect and identify security risks. Your employees need training in how to use the systems securely. You need expert help in dealing with security incidents and managing security events when they happen. With the help a reliable I.T. services provider, you’ll be aware when threats happen. What’s more, you can build security awareness in your company now, before it’s too late.
Hackers are taking advantage of small to medium businesses at an alarming rate. That’s just one reason cybersecurity is more important then ever, no matter what size your business is. Cybercriminals don’t need to make millions of dollars from one transaction when they can duplicate their efforts across thousands of small companies. They recognize and exploit your vulnerability to financial loss. They hack into devices used off-site without proper security. They expect you to take fewer precautions when working online. They can slip in when you aren’t paying attention and damage or destroy your business.
The good news is that JMARK, a managed services provider, can help you deal with all these issues and vastly improve your cybersecurity. Contact JMARK by emailing us at [email protected], calling us at 844-44-JMARK, or using our Contact Us page to leave a message. As a knowledgeable and experienced I.T. provider, JMARK can give you the answers and services you need to thwart hackers and reduce cyberthreats.