It’s easy to assume that cybercriminals target large businesses, but that’s not the case. Small and medium-sized companies are increasingly hit with cyberattacks, illustrating the importance of a strong cybersecurity program. In fact, last year, small businesses faced an estimated $4.6 billion in losses due to cybersecurity.
Let’s talk about three ways cybercriminals can exploit vulnerabilities and weak spots in small and medium-sized businesses.
#1. Lack of Security Resources to Defend Against Attacks
Smaller organizations often run leaner operations, finding creative and strategic ways to do more with less. When it comes to cybersecurity, however, that can be a losing game. Bad actors take advantage of vulnerabilities and weaknesses in company systems, allowing them to swiftly gain access to data, credentials, and more.
No business is too small to be attacked. A recent study found that small businesses are three times more likely to be the victim of a cyberattack. In addition, cyber attacks on small businesses surged by 150% from 2020 to 2021.
#2. Less Robust Employee Training
61% of all breaches involve hacked or stolen credentials, so your employees are an essential line of defense in maintaining cybersecurity. Whether it’s the cost or lack of staff, it’s understandable that employee training may not seem like a must-have for small or medium businesses, but the threat is evident: it’s far more costly to neglect these programs.
Keeping team members updated on the latest threats is critical in securing a company’s data, but just 31% of recently surveyed small businesses have annual employee security training programs. There’s a wide gap in employee education.
One of the most common tactics to attack small businesses is impersonating an executive or senior leader and asking employees to purchase gift cards or share credentials. How can employees stay vigilant if employees aren’t aware of these risks?
#3. Small and Medium-Sized Businesses Don’t Consider Themselves a Target
Some businesses wrongly assume that hackers won’t target their organization because of its size. But if a business collects any kind of data (credit card, birth date, email, phone numbers, addresses, etc.), hackers see an opportunity waiting in the wings.
Because small companies think cybercriminals will overlook their organization, they have a false sense of security about what kind of digital protection measures they need. But 75% of small businesses said they could not continue operating if they faced a cyberattack. The disparity represents the constant challenge small businesses face daily as they weigh the cost of spending on preventative cybersecurity measures versus the possible risk and ramifications of an attack.
Cybersecurity Tips for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses
A proactive approach is the best approach; anything is better than nothing regarding cybersecurity. With a variety of cybersecurity technology available today, take the time to research options that could fit within your budget.
If you need to create and implement an employee training program, look for free and low-cost digital solutions. There is no shortage of online education that can help keep your employees engaged and informed about cybersecurity.
Cyber Insurance is another vital aspect of a comprehensive cybersecurity program. Cyber Insurance policies are tailored to the organization’s unique risks and considerations, so it’s important to talk to an insurance expert about your options.