Over the past couple of years, huge companies like Target, Sony Pictures, and Home Depot have made the news after suffering massive cyberattacks that compromised customers’ private information and cost millions in recovery expenses.
Experts warn these types of attacks aren’t limited to big companies with deep pockets. Now, small businesses are just as vulnerable to data breaches as large multinational corporations.
To learn more about safeguarding your business against cyber threats, speak to a Boynton Beach business lawyer.
Why Cyber Thieves Target Small Businesses
Even just a few years ago, small business owners rarely had to worry about cyberattacks. For the average small business, being a small fish in a big sea was a good thing in the context of cyber threats.
Security experts say this has changed. Small businesses may not have the financial resources of large corporations, but their computer systems usually lack the sophisticated encryption software and online security of big companies. This makes small companies easy pickings for cyber thieves.
Also, a growing number of small companies rely on cloud storage for their data. Without adequate data protection in place, hackers can snatch sensitive and valuable information without much effort.
Startling Facts about Cyberattacks
Many small business owners are unaware of just how serious the problem of data theft has become. The statistics behind this growing threat shine a spotlight on the magnitude of the risks small businesses face.
- According to one cyber security company, cyberattacks on small businesses skyrocketed by 300 percent between 2011 and 2012
- In 2015, nearly half of all cyberattacks worldwide were carried out against businesses with less than 250 employees
- In a two-year period, one in five small- to mid-size businesses reported being the victim of a cyberattack
- On average, cyber thieves steal $32,000 from small business accounts
- The Department of Justice’s Internet Crime Complaint Center received over 269,000 cyber-crime complaints in 2014, which is an increase of 1,500 percent from the year 2000
What Do Cyber Criminals Steal?
Computer security experts say hackers harvest data for a variety of reasons. Armed with the right information, cyber criminals can withdraw money via wire transfers, open fake accounts, file fraudulent tax returns, steal intellectual property, and commit identity theft.
In a 2014 security breach involving Staples office supply stores, hackers stole the credit card information of 1.16 million customers. In the 2013 Target cyberattack, hackers used malware to siphon the credit card information of over 40 million customers.
In some cases, cyber thieves also use smaller businesses as a gateway to larger companies.
What Small Businesses Can Do to Guard Against Cyberattacks
Fortunately, there are several steps small business owners can take to lower their risk of a data breach. Experts recommend using some type of cyber protection, such as a cloud-based security app.
Small companies can also protect themselves by educating their employees about cyber security. Many hackers get access to computer networks by way of malware hidden in spam emails.
Companies can protect themselves by instructing their workers to be cautious when opening emails. Employees should also choose strong passwords and change them often. Experts say even small steps can make a big difference.
Are You Ready to Protect Your Business?
Whether you are a small startup just getting off the ground or you own a growing business with multiple employees, you need an experienced business lawyer on your side.
Too many businesses wait for disaster to strike to call a business lawyer. Protect your business now by scheduling a meeting with a Boynton Beach business lawyer.