It’s a common myth (actually, way to common) that leaves many practice owners with a false sense of security. It is this – that because your business is not a “large enterprise”, you have nothing to worry about when it comes to cyberattacks.
Nothing could be farther from the truth. A new report released by Barracuda Networks shows us jsut how big of a myth this truly is. After analyzing millions of emails from thousands of organizations they found that small businesses have much more to worry about when it comes to cybersecurity. Much more than most business owners would like to admit.
Not convinced? One of the most alarming findings from this report was the fact that employees of small businesses were bombarded with 350% more social engineering attacks than those from larger companies (in this report, a small company is defined as having 100 or less employees).
What on earth could a hacker want with you? What do you have that is of value? Do they even know about you?
Your practice is at a higher risk. Here’s why.
What makes smaller practices a sought after target?
One thing we can say is that smaller businesses are often considered the “low-hanging fruit”, and low-hanging fruit are always easy pickings. Hackers out to get a quick success and gain some quick illicit money will come knocking on your door.
Smaller Practices Do Not Spend Much on Cybersecurity
When you run a small business, you are always cautious as to where your cash is flowing. Rightfully so. Perhaps you know that cybersecurity is important, but maybe it just doesn’t make it to the top of your priority list. At the end of each month, it just doesn’t make it into the budget.
So you go out and purchase an anti-virus program, thinking that is enough to protect your practice. Think again.
You see, with the expansion of cloud technology, remote workers and the evolving threat landscape, AV programs no longer cut it as a means of protection. Sure, it is one layer, but it is just that. One layer in a more robust security fabric.
Hackers are quite aware of this reality and are looking at you as an easy target. Makes sense, right? They put in a little bit of work and get better results vs trying to hack a larger corporation.
All Practices Have Valuable Resources Worth Hacking
Don’t sit back for one minute and fall for the misconception that your business doesn’t have any valuable resources worth hacking.
Patient and client data, personal identifiable information, credit card info, tax ids, social insurance numbers…
IT IS VALUABLE. Cybercriminals are always looking for a way to get their hands on this information so they can sell it on the dark web – to be used by others for identity theft.
Here are some of the data that hackers will go after:
- Customer records
- Employee records
- Bank account information
- Emails and passwords
- Payment card details
Your Businesses Can Become an Entry Point to Larger Businesses
Todays business world is highly connected. Vendors are often connected to client systems, businesses often connect to other partner businesses.
Because of this, breaching a smaller network will often lead to a larger score. Small businesses become a “back door” into the larger networks. This type of relationship can lead to a multi-business breach and becomes very appealing to cybercriminals.
More Often Than Not, Practice Owners Are Not Prepared for An Attack
One of the fastest growing attack vectors over the past 10 years has been ransomware. Over 71% of organizations surveyed have already experienced some form of ransomware attack in 2022.
The number of businesses who are forced to dish out a payout is also increasing. Over 63% of businesses who are affected by ransomware and paying the attacker the ransom in hopes that the files will be decrypted.
This is why being prepared is so important.
A hacker may not be able to get as much money from you as they would a larger corporation, however the amount they do ask can be enough to cripple your business – sometimes permanently.
Don’t be an “easy-to-breach” business.
Small Companies Often Do Not Train Employees on Cybersecurity
If implementing cybersecurity measures isn’t high on the priority list, then the next thing to fall of the list is employee cybersecurity awareness training.
But here is the raw truth – humans are the weakest link in every security chain and NEED to be trained. Without this training your network is left vulnerable to one of the biggest dangers – human error.
What are the best practices for implementing strong passwords? Teach them.
Weak passwords are one of the leading causes of breaches across the globe.
How do you spot phishing emails? Teach them.
Phishing causes over 80% of data breaches.
All it takes is one wrong click to expose your practice. So I say again – teach them!
When employees are aware it increases your security posture significantly. It’s a fundamental building block of securing what matters.
Need Help to Understand How to Secure your Business?
Reach out today. We offer affordable options for small businesses.