Cyberattacks are Targeting Small Businesses, and Why This Matters
Over 10,000 cyberattacks happen every single day, targeting both big and small businesses. But small businesses are much more likely to fall victim to the attack, rather than stop it or prevent it. Hackers target small firms because they don't have the protection, at least according to the results of Panda Security's Fall 2010 survey of data security:
36% rely on free consumer antivirus applications.
31% have no anti-spam.
23% have no anti-spyware.
15% have no firewall.
13% have no security at all.
What is there to attack in small or medium-sized business versus a big business? Well, the exact same things, just the less protection, making it much easier for attackers to target small businesses. Things like customer/client financial data, personal information; vital company data that's just sitting there ripe for the taking. Most small businesses don't realize what's at risk, therefore, they aren't taking the necessary precaution.
And what's at risk is more than lost data for your small business. An attack will also means lost revenue, lost customer base, and even lost providers. Many small businesses utilize shared web hosting services, for example. A cyberattack on you means that your web hosting service could terminate its service to you, and blacklist you from ever using their service again. The provider does this to protect the rest of its customer base, which is something small businesses ought to think about.
"The game is changing," says David Moeller, CEO of website monitoring and backup company CodeGuard in USA Today. "Anyone who has a website can be attacked, and you have a responsibility to make sure you're not hosting malicious content."
What small businesses ought to do to protect themselves is to setup the appropriate data and website security, and to have a place in case this happens. This plan ought to include data backup, quick customer notification of an attack, and improvements to the security infrastructure to ensure an attack doesn't happen again.
This problem ought to concern more than SMB owners, but SMB customers as well. That data those attackers are going after is YOUR data, your financial and personal information. Once an attacker has your data because SMB X didn't take the necessary precautions, expect to be encountering fraud or identity theft in the next year or so. This isn't just a matter of you protecting your data, or a small business protecting it's data, but you ensuring small businesses protect your data. If a small business you've done business with gets attacked, you may feel the consequences.