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Why Do Hackers Target Small Businesses?

06/20/2017

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In recent years, hacking has become a very real concern for business owners. From the Sony hacking debacle to the concerns around hacking that may have been involved in the presidential race, no one is safe from these invisible villains. With so many large fish in the sea, it may be a surprise to hear that a majority of the hackers out there target small businesses. In fact, 70% of information breaches happen against companies with less than 100 employees. So why are small businesses a target?

Small Businesses are not adequately defended against cyber-attacks.

Many small businesses do not invest in the additional monitoring and security that large enterprises invest in. This means their data is more susceptible to attacks if someone were to know this. This knowledge of limited protection means that criminals will quickly target a mom and pop shop over a mega enterprise like Amazon. Larger corporations use monitoring and security to safeguard their data and client information. These same safeguards are available to small and medium sized businesses, but many of them don’t feel it is necessary. Sadly, this leaves them open for business for hackers around the globe.

It’s easier to hack a small business than a large corporation.

With smaller operations come smaller security precautions. Many small businesses are less likely to have technological safeguards in place to protect their data and information. This means that without audit logs and monitoring, hackers who attack a small business are less likely to get caught. Criminals know this and this is a huge draw for them when looking for a system to infiltrate.

Small business owners will pay to get their data back.

It’s extremely difficult for many small businesses to recover from a ransomware attack. Because of this, they will often pay ransoms to the hackers who infiltrate their systems in order to restore order to their data and their systems. Many hackers will request ransoms from the business owner in order to return the severely encrypted hacked data to its original state.

Small businesses have valuable data.

Regardless of what many people think, lots of small businesses store sensitive financial information from their customers and clients. This information in the wrong hands can mean trouble for many people who are unaware that their credit card and personal information is readily available to a number of hackers who could penetrate their systems.

Small businesses are a gateway to larger ones.

Larger enterprises tend to give a certain level of access to smaller businesses they use as vendors or suppliers. This is a common way for hackers to use small businesses to actually access larger ones. The Target breach from 2013 was the result of a hacker finding their way into Target’s system through access that had been granted to an HVAC contractor. By sending a phishing email to an employee at the HVAC company, the hacker was able to infiltrate their system, which in turn tunneled into Target’s system, and finally led to the acquiring of secure information for 40 million credit cards that had been used at Target stores across the country. Subsequently, small businesses can also unknowingly give hackers access to other small businesses they work with in the same way.  

How do you make your system secure?

Take control of the security situation by safeguarding your data and information through tactics such as firewall management, antimalware software, and multifactor authentication, to just name a few. With careful monitoring of your system, you can create a secure environment that will deter hackers from malicious attacks on your company's data. 

Many times people associate security with dollar signs, but that is not always the case. A system can be secured at minimal costs, and in the long run, save a company tons of money should something have been hacked. 

To find out what options are available to secure your business systems, email or call LBMC Technology Solutions today.