Small business attracts cyber crime

Small businesses are THREE TIMES more likely to come under cyberattack than larger ones

Get inside the mind of a small business owner, and you’ll find them thinking things like, ‘Hackers don’t care about my data’ or ‘I’ve got nothing of value stored on my system’.

Unfortunately, cybercriminals don’t see it that way. They love targeting small businesses because it makes their life very easy. So much so that you are three times more likely to be a victim of cybercrime if you are a smaller company (under 100 staff). 

Cybersecurity firm Barracuda Networks analysed millions of emails across thousands of organisations and found that employees at small companies saw 350% more social engineering attacks than larger ones. 

This puts smaller businesses on the front line of cybercrime, but there are ways to fight back. 

Why are smaller companies targeted more?

There are many reasons why hackers see small businesses as low-hanging fruit and why they hit them hard.

Small companies tend to spend less on cybersecurity

Small business leaders often don’t spend as much as they should on their IT security. They may buy an antivirus program and think that’s enough to cover them. But with the expansion of technology to the cloud, that’s just one small layer. You need several more for adequate security.

Hackers know all this and see small businesses as an easier target. They can do much less work to get a payout than they would attempting to hack into an enterprise corporation.

Every business has “hack-worthy” resources 

Even a sole trader has data that’s worth scoring for a hacker. Credit card numbers, tax ID numbers, and email addresses are all valuable. Cybercriminals can sell these on the Dark Web. From there, other criminals use them for identity theft.

Here are some of the data that hackers will go after:

  •   Customer and employee records
  •   Bank account information
  •   Emails and passwords
  •   Payment card details

Small businesses can provide entry into larger ones

Many smaller companies provide services to larger companies, including digital marketing, website management, accounting, and more.

Vendors are often digitally connected to certain client systems. This type of relationship can enable a multi-company breach. While hackers don’t need that connection to hack you, it’s a nice bonus. 

 Small business owners are often unprepared for ransomware

Ransomware has been one of the fastest-growing cyberattacks of the last decade. 

The percentage of victims that pay the ransom to attackers has also been increasing. An average of 63% of companies pay the attacker money in hopes of getting a key to decrypt the ransomware.

Even if a hacker can’t get as much ransom from a small business as they can from a larger organisation, it’s a numbers game and the more that payout, the merrier. 

When companies pay the ransom, it feeds the beast, and more cybercriminals join in. And those newer to ransomware attacks will often go after smaller, easier-to-breach companies.

Employees at smaller companies usually aren’t trained in cybersecurity

Training employees on how to spot phishing and password best practices are often overlooked. This leaves networks vulnerable to one of the biggest dangers, human error.

In most cyberattacks, the hacker needs help from a user. It’s like the burglar needing the unsuspecting victim to invite them inside. 

Phishing causes over 80% of data breaches, but a phishing email sitting in an inbox can’t usually do anything. The user needs to either open a file attachment or click a link that will take them to a malicious site, which launches the attack.

Teaching employees how to spot these ploys can significantly increase your cybersecurity. Security awareness training is as vital as having a strong firewall or antivirus.


  • Reach out today to the Synergy It team for a consultation. We offer affordable IT options for companies, including ways to protect you from cyber threats.

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