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8 Reasons Small Businesses Are Targeted by Hackers


Research shows that small businesses are the primary target of hackers.

Smaller companies tend to be more vulnerable because they often lack the resources needed to defend themselves against cyber-attacks.

The good news is that there are ways you can protect your business from being hacked and becoming a target in the first place. Here are eight reasons why small businesses tend to be so targeted by hackers as well as measures to reduce risk:

8 Reasons Small Businesses Are Targeted by Hackers

It's All About the Money

Not every hacker wants to take your data. Others want your money. Businesses reportedly lose $30 billion annually as a result of chargebacks and fraudulent credit card transactions. 

Smaller businesses can’t afford to dispute the bogus charges; instead, they must absorb the losses while larger businesses have the capacity to do so. Because they are aware of this, hackers frequently target smaller businesses that handle credit card transactions. 

When a hacker uses one of your customers’ credit cards to make a purchase, they have the option of filing a chargeback, which results in the consumer receiving their money back and you being responsible for the full cost of the purchase.

8 Reasons Small Businesses Are Targeted by Hackers

Small Businesses Have Limited Resources

Smaller businesses often lack the financial investment, human resources and technology that larger firms have. 

For example, larger companies are more likely to employ full-time IT staff, whereas a small business owner may work along with a few part-time employees. Smaller companies may also lack the budget for thorough cybersecurity risk assessments. 

Such assessments are essential for finding out how your company stacks up against cyber-criminals. They also can help you identify and prioritize your cybersecurity budget based on your greatest vulnerabilities.

8 Reasons Small Businesses Are Targeted by Hackers

Small Businesses Are Easy Targets

Hackers have certain types of businesses in their crosshairs—and smaller companies are often one of them. Why? 

Because smaller firms are often unaware, they’re being targeted and don’t have the resources to fight back. The WannaCry ransomware attack, for example, hit companies of every size. However, large firms had the resources and expertise to develop detection and recovery strategies. 

Smaller companies, on the other hand, were often unaware they were being targeted. This is why it’s important to keep an eye on emerging cyber threats, and be ready to protect your business when you see signs of an impending attack.

8 Reasons Small Businesses Are Targeted by Hackers

Small Businesses May Have More Sensitive Data

Some industries collect more sensitive data than others. The healthcare industry, for example, often collects sensitive personal data. 

Other industries, like retail, also collect sensitive data, such as credit card information. Smaller companies that deal in sensitive data are often targeted more than other organizations. 

Hackers want to get their hands on this data because it’s extremely valuable.

8 Reasons Small Businesses Are Targeted by Hackers

Small Biz Infrastructure is Often Outdated

If you’re like most small businesses, you’ve likely upgraded your IT infrastructure over the years—but you may have neglected to upgrade your cybersecurity architecture at the same pace. 

Most organizations are required to have an Information Technology (IT) budget. However, cybersecurity budgets aren’t as mandatory. Because cybersecurity budgets aren’t required, they often fall by the wayside. You might be tempted to spend your limited resources on other things that are more pressing right now—but cybersecurity is a long-term investment. 

There’s always something more important to spend your money on, but cybersecurity is one of those areas where you’ll likely regret not spending more when you need it the most.

8 Reasons Small Businesses Are Targeted by Hackers

Software and Security Upgrades Can Be Costly

As a small business owner, you want to protect your customers and your data. But how much does it cost to secure your network? 

Unfortunately, cybersecurity is an ongoing expense. You can’t just buy it once. You’ll need to continually update your software and keep your network up-to-date. Sadly, this can get costly, especially as more cybersecurity threats emerge.

 Some cybersecurity threats are created by third-party software, such as plugins and add-ons used by certain software. Security researchers regularly discover vulnerabilities in third-party software. It is unfortunate that, vulnerabilities found in these third-party software can also be exploited by hackers.

8 Reasons Small Businesses Are Targeted by Hackers

Small Companies Are Inexperienced in Fighting Cyber Crime

Hackers are often more sophisticated than the organizations they target. Smaller companies are often forced to use off-the-shelf cybersecurity software and products that aren’t well-suited to their specific needs. 

This means that you’re likely not getting the most out of the cybersecurity tools you already have. It’s like wearing ill-fitting shoes—you can get by with them for a while, but they’re never going to be as comfortable as a pair that’s custom-fit. 

Small businesses don’t always have the resources they need to adequately defend themselves against cyber-attacks. You may not have the budget to hire an expert cybersecurity team or purchase the latest software. It’s like wearing ill-fitting shoes—you can get by with them for a while, but they’re never going to fulfill your exact and entire cyber security needs.

8 Reasons Small Businesses Are Targeted by Hackers

Lack of Security Awareness and Training

It’s important to have security policies in place to protect your company. However, if your employees don’t know about them, they won’t be able to put them into action. 

For example, you may have a policy that employees shouldn’t click on links from unknown senders. However, if your employees aren’t aware of this policy, they may click on a link and put your company at risk. 

Training your employees on cybersecurity best practices is essential for protecting your data. It’s also important that you encourage your employees to report any suspicious activity to the proper channels, such as the IT department or Data Privacy Officer (DPO).

8 Reasons Small Businesses Are Targeted by Hackers

In Conclusion

Small businesses are often targeted by cyber criminals because they’re easier to hack, have less resources than larger companies and often have sensitive data. It’s important for small businesses to understand the risks posed by hackers and take steps to protect against them. Having a cybersecurity plan in place is essential for defending your company against cyber-attacks.

You can get in touch with us using any of the buttons below if, after reading this article, you feel motivated to take action to assess your cyber-security precautions and deploy the best defense solutions in accordance with your budget.

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