Most small business owners are under the impression that hackers won’t target them because they are small. For quite a while they would primarily set their sights on bigger companies and leave the average small business alone. Having a small business with fewer financial resources was a benefit. Today, that isn’t necessarily true. According to a recent report, 60% of small businesses get hacked each year.
A bigger business means a bigger payout, but they target smaller businesses because they are generally easier to hack than larger companies. Hackers have many ways to attack small businesses and business owners. Hacking can be done through email with phishing attacks or through malware and viruses. It can also be done over the phone by conning employees or even the owners for more information than they should give out.
Smaller businesses are targets because they tend to have weaker online security and do a large amount of business online. The best defense against these situations is to educate yourself and employees of potential threats and what to be on the look out for.
How hackers target small businesses.
One of the most popular forms hackers use is extortion. This has changed in how it looks over the years, but currently ransomware is the most popular. What this means on the most basic level is that a hacker encrypts your personal information, files and access to other data, and then charges you a certain amount of money to get the information back.
This has grown in popularity as it requires minimal effort on the hacker’s part and can be used repeatedly. Many businesses don’t have a choice but to pay the fees because they had insufficient backup and the data is needed.
The best defense against these types of attacks is having an up-to-date offsite backup that is tested regularly to ensure that it is working.
Targeting customer records
Your customer records can prove fruitful for many hackers. They will either use them personally or will sell them to someone who will. Customer records hold very valuable information, so it is imperative to have these records kept safe.
Targeting financial information
Most purchases today are made with a debit or credit and sometimes even with bank account information. Securing this information is extremely important. As with customer records, this information can we used to steal money quickly which is often what hackers are looking for. If your business has a data breech of this kind, it can be devastating to your company. You lose the trust of your customers and can take years to repair the tarnished image.
Keep your business safe.
These are just a few ways that small businesses get targeted. There are many more strategies out there that people will use to scam you and/or your customers. Your duty as a business owner is to ensure that you have proper security and that you and your employees stay on top of the latest trends and techniques used by hackers.