Small and medium businesses have a lot to lose if they are targeted by hackers because they often don’t have the resources to recover from long down towns, stolen data, or malware attacks. They are also less likely to be able to pay ransomware demands or have access to sensitive information worth stealing, so why do hackers target small businesses for attacks? SMBs are often targeted because of a lack of proper cybersecurity infrastructure and because personally identifiable information (PII) from employees and clients can be valuable to sell on the dark web. Today, we want to talk about why your business may be targeted, so you can be better prepared to improve your cybersecurity posture to stop hackers!
While a common depiction of hackers in media involves a single person specifically targeting a business network, this isn’t usually the case in real life. Hackers will automate many of their attacks to send out thousands of malicious emails a day to a long list of potential targets they bought from the dark web. This means your small business can be sent a phishing email even if the attacker has no idea they are attacking you specifically. Hacking isn’t always personal, and small businesses can get caught up in attacks because they were added to a target list by a bot or an employee accidentally stumbled across a malware download hackers put on the internet.
Rather than becoming a specific target for hackers, small and medium businesses will often get caught up in attacks meant to target a large number of small businesses at once. SMBs will be targeted because hackers know they often have a weaker cybersecurity posture than enterprise level businesses, and they will be able to steal information that leads to further attacks on other SMBs. By attacking a high number of small targets, hackers can develop long lists of PII, credit card information, and email addresses that they can sell to other cybercriminals to make a profit on the dark web.
Sometimes an SMB will be targeted directly by a hacker, and this can occur because that threat group has a plan in place to attack an entity that SMB does business with. This means that your small business can be targeted because it has a contract with a government agency or bigger business that the malicious actors actually want to gain access to, and your network appears unprotected enough to act as the first step in that plan. The attackers will often make it look like they are specifically targeting you and actually steal information or do damage but will use this as a distraction as they try to access information related to the larger network they are actually targeting.
Small and medium businesses will be targeted by hackers because they get swept up in large, automated attacks or stumble across traps, such as malvertising or drive-by-downloads set by malicious actors. These attacks often work because SMBs haven’t worked with an IT consultant to prepare their cybersecurity infrastructure against the common attack strategies used by hackers. When SMBs are targeted, it’s often because they have access to extremely sensitive data or because they can give the attackers access to a bigger target. Any small business worried about being targeted by hackers should work with a small business IT consultant like Robinett Consulting, so we can help your business implement the security solutions it needs to operate safely!
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