Many people write off cybercrime as a wrecking ball for big companies exclusively. They think a small company with fewer than 100 employees is insignificant in the eyes of cybercriminals. Unfortunately, however, that idea couldn’t be more off. Companies of smaller sizes actually make up 71 percent of all attacks.
irst, let’s get down to business on what cybercrime is. It can include hacking — someone accessing your computer without your permission; ransomware — malware that gets inserted into your company’s computer that blocks usage and forces you to pay the cybercriminal a fee to get it back; phishing — extracting confidential information like credit card numbers, or username and password information by pretending to be legitimate; or identity theft — in which someone steals your identity and gains access to credit cards, bank accounts, and other benefits in your name.
It may seem counterintuitive, but cybercriminals gleefully prey on smaller companies. It’s that lack of awareness that makes them the most vulnerable. Hemu Nigam, founder of the cybersecurity company SSP Blue, points out, “Hackers love small businesses [because] they don’t have the resources to put in high-end cybersecurity protection and they may not be consciously aware they are a target.”
One example of small cybercrime in action involves a 2011 attack on Green Ford Sales, a car dealership in Kansas. Hackers broke into the company’s network, and in less than 24 hours, added nine fake employees to the payroll and paid them $23,000. The company was only able to block a small amount of that money from actually being paid.
Wright Hotels, a real estate development firm, was another victim of cybercrime, in 2017. Hackers got access to the company’s email account and impersonated the owner, convincing the bookkeeper to wire money to accounts in China.
So it’s clear that it’s important not to let any lack of awareness turn into a misstep when it comes to protecting your business’s digital universe. Check out these stats if you need further convincing.
More than half the small businesses in America, over 14 million, have already been attacked.
Over 55 percent of small businesses have been attacked this past year, and about 44 percent have been attacked two or more times.
The number of records stolen from breaches are estimated to be 158,727 per hour, 2,645 per minute, and 44 every second of every day.
Anywhere from 230,000 to as many as 1 million new malware samples are produced every day.
On average, over half a year passes before a business recognizes that it has been breached.
Some 60 percent of small businesses go out of business within six months of a cyberattack.
So, how do you protect yourself? Become aware of different methods of attack so you can be certain your IT team is taking the right steps. Delegating without being informed creates a black hole of misinformation and inaction that makes your business vulnerable.
Some actions you should take are:
Implement an effective password strategy. If your system isn’t easy to hack, it could discourage the criminal. They will move on to someone else who is more blind to attacks.
Know your data. You cannot fully know how much is at risk until you understand the nature and the amount of data you have at stake.
Create file back-ups, data back-ups, and back-up bandwidth capabilities. This will help you retain your information in the event that a ransomware attack occurs.
Speak to an expert. Cybercriminals are continuously developing new methods. It’s essential to speak with an expert who can keep your company protected on a continuous basis.
Putting all of these steps into play not only allows you to protect your business, but also your dream. It helps you protect the jobs for all of the employees counting on you. Cyberattacks are the second most reported crime globally. Protecting your company starts with recognizing the danger and taking the positive steps that will prevent this danger from affecting you in the future.
Want to learn more? Sign up for the 2019 ITCON Cybersecurity Conference next month. ITCON 2019 is a Cybersecurity Conference to give business owners, CIOs, CTOs, and their teams the opportunity to learn more about the growing number of cyber threats facing businesses today — and which strategies they can implement to protect themselves. Attendees will enjoy the chance to hear real, practical advice from the biggest and brightest minds in the industry, absent of any technical geek speak, in an engaging and stimulating environment. The conference is to be held June 20, 2019, in Parsippany, NJ. For more details and to register, visit itcon2019.com.