A new security report has revealed some alarming trends.  

cyberattacks on small businesses

Reports on Cyberattacks on Small businesses

First off, cyberattacks on small businesses are becoming faster than ever.

Breakout times (that’s the time it takes for a criminal to move within your network after first getting in) have dropped significantly. Hence, we’re talking an average of just 62 minutes compared to 84 minutes last year.

Sadly, this is not good news.

Not only are these cyberattacks on small businesses faster, but they’re also becoming more common. Consequently, this report has identified a whopping 34 new cybercriminal groups, bringing the total to over 230 groups tracked by the company.

Last year, nearly three-quarters (73%) of small business owners in the US experienced a cyberattack, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC). On that account, data breaches predominantly targeted employee and customer data, highlighting the vulnerability of businesses to cyber threats.

And guess what? These cybercriminals aren’t sitting around twiddling their thumbs. They’re getting smarter and more sophisticated. The report highlights a new record breakout time of just two minutes and seven seconds. That’s barely enough time to grab a coffee, let alone mount a defense.

Top factor in the occurrence of Cyberattacks on small businesses

But here’s the real kicker: The human factor is your biggest security risk and increasingly becoming the main entry point for these cyberattacks on small businesses.

The vast majority, accounting for 95%, of cybersecurity breaches stem from human error. Cyber-criminals and hackers often exploit vulnerabilities within a company’s workforce, bypassing traditional IT defenses. Contrary to popular belief, the weakest link in cybersecurity is seldom found within the IT department. Instead, it’s typically a result of lapses in employee awareness, negligence, or unintentional actions that leave the organization susceptible to cyber threats.

Therefore, fostering a culture of cybersecurity awareness and providing comprehensive training to all staff members is paramount in safeguarding against potential breaches.

They will try to get your people to click a link in a phishing email, which will take them to a fake login page. Once your employee enters their real login details, they have inadvertently handed them over.

Or, they pretend to be someone your team trusts. This is called social engineering.

Defending Against Cyberattacks on Small Businesses: Essential Strategies for Protection

So, what can you do to protect your business from these cyber threats?

  • Employee Education and Training on the prevention of Cyberattacks on small businesses

It’s crucial to ensure that your team remains well-informed about the ever-evolving landscape of cyber threats targeting small businesses. By staying updated on the latest cybersecurity trends and learning to identify potential risks, your employees can play an active role in safeguarding your business against malicious attacks.

Implementing regular sessions dedicated to cybersecurity awareness training is key to empowering your team with the knowledge and skills necessary to spot and mitigate potential threats effectively. Investing in such proactive measures not only helps prevent costly mistakes but also strengthens your organization’s overall security posture in the face of cyberattacks on small businesses.

  • Implement strong password policies

Encourage the use of complex random passwords generated and remembered by password managers. Use multi-factor authentication for an added layer of security (this is where you use a second device to confirm it’s really you logging in).

  • Keep your systems updated

Make sure all software and systems are up to date with the latest security patches. Cybercriminals often exploit known vulnerabilities, so staying current is key.

  • Invest in cyber security software

Consider investing in reputable cyber security software that can help detect and mitigate threats in real time (we can help with this).

  • Backup your data

Regularly backup your data and store it in a secure location. In the event of a cyberattack, having backups can help minimize downtime and data loss.

2024 Cyberattacks on Small Businesses Forecast

As forecasted by Cybersecurity Ventures, the global financial toll of cybercrime is projected to reach an alarming $9.5 trillion USD by the year 2024. This staggering estimation not only underscores the pervasive threat posed by cybercriminals but also highlights the substantial economic impact affecting businesses worldwide.

If we were to conceptualize cybercrime as a standalone entity, its financial magnitude would rank it as the world’s third-largest economy, trailing behind only the United States and China. This statistic serves as a stark reminder of the significant risks of cyberattacks on small businesses. With the digital landscape continuously evolving, small businesses must prioritize cybersecurity measures to protect themselves from the detrimental effects of cybercrime.

When it comes to cyber security, it’s better to be safe than sorry. If we can help you to stay better prepared, get in touch.

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