The far-reaching report identifies a 424% increase in attacks on small businesses, showing a new favourite target for hackers. As enterprise organisations focus on their cybersecurity, using innovative technologies to staff training to prevent data breaches, small businesses are struggling to protect against sophisticated hackers.
Why are SMEs a target?
Small businesses have become attractive to hackers because they require relatively little effort to infiltrate. Some key reasons small businesses have become a target include:
- A failure to patch known vulnerabilities, enabling easy access for hackers.
- Lack of structure staff training in up-to-date cybersecurity – including authentication, phishing, encryption and more.
- Small packets of data obtained from SMEs supplement extensive identity profiles held by hackers.
Risks of a data breach
Small businesses are right to be concerned about the impact of data breaches on their business operations. In fact, a data breach can have serious repercussions including:
- Loss of customer trust and reputation;
- Loss of sales;
- Potential fines and penalties if businesses cannot show they have taken measures to adequately protect data.
How SMEs can protect themselves
Whilst an external security consultant or even an internal team is the best option to protect against hackers, this is often unrealistic for small businesses with a limited budget. However, there are many actions businesses can take to prevent data breaches, without too much cost or labour involved.
- Implement basic cybersecurity training for all employees with access to personal data.
- Implement basic security policies and practices
- Comply with applicable data protection legislation
- Introduce two-factor authentication
- Purchase cybersecurity insurance
- Install greater protection for remotely accessible databases and files