Most people believe that only large companies (or enterprises) are targeted by cyberattacks. One of the main reasons behind this belief is the simple fact that the media, including social media, end up reporting and focusing more on major attacks, major data breaches, involving giants like Yahoo and Sony, for example. But the reality isn’t quite that.
What the cybersecurity industry has been following in recent years is a shift in the spotlight. Over time, small and medium businesses (SMBs) have become as attractive as enterprises to cybercriminals, which leads us to believe that the old phrase "my business is too small to be hacked" is making less and less sense.
So, what makes SMBs ideal targets for cybercriminals?
What does an enterprise have that a SMB doesn’t have? The possible answers to this question help us have a clearer idea of why cybercriminals have invested more time and energy in attacks on small and medium-sized businesses. Since we love lists, here we go.
1. SMBs often can’t measure the importance of the information and assets they have.
2. SMBs, in general, don’t spend as much energy as they should on information security because they don’t see themselves as targets.
3. SMBs don’t have much money to spend on security.
4. SMBs don’t have specialized professionals, experts in the area.
5. SMBs don’t have the appropriate protection tools and software.
Obviously, each of these points is the unfolding of another. From the moment you don’t see yourself as a potential victim or see no need to protect yourself better, the value that security has for you is less. And criminals know that.
A simple thought that we always discuss here at Gatefy is the reflexes that a cyberattack has. An attack on a small company probably can have a far more devastating impact than one on an enterprise. A ransomware attack, for example, may be enough to bankrupt a SMB.
In addition, in the case of a smaller company, recovering the credibility and trust of partners, customers and suppliers after a data leak can be an arduous task and sometimes even almost impossible to achieve, even due to the lack of financial support.
Tips to improve your small and medium business security
As an entrepreneur, you need to keep in mind some key points.
1. Today, cybersecurity software and tools are no longer as complex as they used to be. In the past, you'd need someone highly specialized to deploy them. Here at Gatefy, for example, we are committed to developing solutions that reduce complexity.
2. Security software and tools are also no longer so expensive. It’s possible to have a cutting edge technology, the same standard that enterprises have, for a budget that fits in your pocket.
3. Most attacks happen via email. For example, the number of phishing and spear phishing attacks using social engineering has grown in recent years, which is alarming.
4. Many attacks only succeed because employees fall for the scams. So in addition to investing in email protection, you should invest in educating your employees and partners about cybersecurity. That’s what we call security awareness.
5. The last but not least important point: what would you do if your business was hacked? Create an incident response plan and, please, make frequent backups.
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