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Small And Midsize Firms More Vulnerable To CyberAttacks

Monday, July 27th, 2015

Hackers and criminals are increasingly targeting small and midsize companies causing significant monetary losses to them as well as affecting their reputations in the market. And while the hacking scandals affecting big corporations get a lot of media coverage, those targeting smaller businesses are hardly in the news. The scariest part of the situation is that most small business owners are not even aware of the type of security threats that their businesses are facing and as a result, they risk facing huge losses and even shutdown in the near future.

It was reported by National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) some time back that as many as 20 percent of all small businesses become victims of cybercrimes every year. The report even said that among the firms targeted by the criminals, 60 percent went out of business in six months or less. This means that if you are running a small business and your company becomes a victim of cybercrime, there’s a high probability that you may end up shutting down your business. These statistics were even attested by the security firm Symantec which found that companies having less than 250 employees were targets of disproportionately large number of cyberattacks.

There are a number of reasons why hackers and criminals are shifting their attention to smaller firms. First and foremost, such companies lack the budget and staffing needed to combat the menace of cybercrime. While large corporations can afford to spend millions of dollars on monitoring, logging and auditing facilities, smaller firms often do not set up even rudimentary defense and warning systems that could warn them of the impending security threats. All these factors play an important part in managing the security of an organization and by not investing enough resources to protect their infrastructure, smaller companies inadvertently inviting hackers to target them.

Targeting smaller companies may also result in other types of payoffs for the criminals. Since smaller businesses often work as service providers for bigger companies, attacks against such firms may also yield data about bigger companies. By targeting a number of smaller businesses, criminals may be able to orchestrate a significantly bigger attack on a major corporation. Most small businesses do not think of themselves as links in the digital world and as a result, they commit mistakes that not only end up affecting them but also their partners.

Small and midsize firms can fight the menace of cybercrime by having strict security policies in place. Since cyberattacks threaten their very survival, small businesses not only need to craft highly effective security policies, they also need to enforce them strictly. Since most hacking attacks happen through mobile devices, public Wi-Fi networks and at the time of travelling, business owners need to pay special attention to such scenarios and devise ways on how to deal with them. In short, the fact that your business is not a well-known entity does not give you an excuse to become complacent as far as the security of your organization is concerned.

July 27, 2015

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