Small Businesses Have Become a BIG target for Cyber Criminals
FACT : Did you know 1 in 40 small businesses are at risk of being the victim of a cyber crime?
It’s true! – Symantec has released their 2017 Internet Security Threat Report.
This report once again confirms that small businesses are a big target for cyber criminals and they too need to prepare for cyber attacks.
It’s not a matter of who they’re targeting but what they’re targeting … your money.
“I’m just a small business…I don’t think I need anti-virus or a firewall…”
Let’s take a look how big and small businesses are targeted.
Small businesses: 1 in 40 – Randomly attacked.
Large companies: 1 in about 2 are targeted every year – Multiple times.
Who’s the easier pay day? Small businesses.
Why? Many small businesses don’t have the proper security measures in place such as anti-virus, firewall, etc.
Cyber criminals’ Weapon of Choice: Phishing Emails
Phishing emails: An email that appears to be from a trusted person or company; often carefully crafted using logos and branding of a trusted company; similar spelling of name or email address. These emails often deceive the recipient – asking them for personal information such as a password, social security number, or try to get you to click on a link.
(photo above – great example of a phishing email – One wrong click on this email by your employees and ransomware may occur.)
Take a look at the photo below. See how convincing this email appears?
This looks like it’s coming from PayPal, but it’s NOT! It’s coming from a cyber criminal using a phishing attack.
Opening one bad email can possible hijack an entire company’s financial information and gain a wealth of personal information and access to funds.
1 in 131 emails contained malware, the highest rate in five years – 2017 Internet Security Threat Report
Other downfalls from phishing emails can especially result in ransomware. The attack on devices connected to a company’s hacked network, workstations, smart television, smart watches, smartphones, etc.In these ransomware attacks, the cyber criminal locks the device, encrypts its data, and demands payment to unlock the device.
In 2016, the most effective bank robbers were armed with computers, not guns
USA is an Easy Target for Ransomware Scammers
Symantec has discovered 100 new malware families. Also a 36% increase in ransomware attacks worldwide.
However, why is the United States the biggest and easiest target?
The reports shows that 64% of Americans are more willing to pay a ransom! The average ransom payment also increased, now with an average of $1077 per victim.
Small Businesses Need to Prepare Now for Cyber Criminals
Ok small business owners, here’s the bad news. Hackers will continue to target small businesses with simple phishing attacks, especially targeting your employees.
The good news. You can educate your employees, giving them training on phishing schemes, thus making them more vigilant and reducing the chance your business becomes a victim.
Second, you can have peace of mind by talking to your IT team or experts to provide a plan that will safeguard your company. They can provide you with great solutions for preventing email phishing such as setting up a good firewall and filtering your incoming email through a cloud before it hits your network.
Finally, since many attacks happen on devices connected to your company’s network, it’s a great idea to limit the number of devices such as employee smart phones etc.
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We’re Hyphenet, a Managed IT Service provider located in sunny San Diego, California.
If your small business is in need of a proactive plan for preventing phishing, please give us a call: (619) 325-0990