Typically, when a data breach makes the headlines it involves a well-known brand with deep pockets which might give you a sense that hackers are only interested in big heists. Most of the time however, they are after small businesses. In fact, more than half of all US small businesses have been victim to a cyberattack.
One reason hackers love to target small businesses is because they have fewer defense resources and controls than larger organizations. And because they are less likely to detect a data breach until after the damage is done, 60% go out of business after six months. A sad statistic considering 1 in 2 American workers are employed by a small business.
Cyber-criminals are also keen on gaining internal access to sensitive information and employees, whether inadvertently or not, make it easy since 77% of them leave their computers unattended. Access to just a few credentials from key employees and hackers have what they need to send legitimate-looking emails to “business partners” they want to attack.
What’s not to love about small businesses? They form the backbone of the US economy. They also have a good amount of sensitive information, including customer data, financial records, and intellectual property which is what hackers are looking for. Ninety-three percent of Visa’s credit card breaches are from small business customers. Customers have choices, 89% say they avoid companies that do not protect their privacy. How many replacement cards have you received in the past three years?
It is possible however for smaller businesses to protect their data like the Fortune 100s do. They have access now to state-of-the-art-tools: cloud computing; industry best practices for compliance and chain-of-custody; the latest in data management, backup, archiving and disaster recovery. Smaller companies don’t have to be vulnerable to hackers when they have access to the kind of protection the world’s largest firms get.