Every year, there are at least a few major data breaches that grab headlines for a week or two then fade from memory, but still leave many consumers or companies significantly affected for months or even years to come. However, those incidents are major for a reason: They hit big companies and impact potentially millions of people. The fact of the matter is that the smaller ones, which don’t show up in the news, are more common, and increasingly focused on small businesses specifically.
There are many reasons a data breach might hit a small business, but the chief reason is actually pretty simple, according to a report from the Insurance Journal. It’s much easier for hackers to attack small businesses than larger ones, because the latter often has significant security measures in place that could take months or more to successfully break down. The former, typically, has minimal measures in place to protect themselves from such incidents, and this is particularly true when new means of accessing sensitive data emerge.
“Reacting to new threats is too slow and too expensive,” Dan Guido, Hacker in Residence at NYU Engineering, told the site at a recent conference on such issues. “These days, you have to preempt criminal activity by thinking like a hacker and concentrating on the methods of attack. Fortunately, attackers are just as fallible as everyone else and they can be disrupted.”
How do they do it?
When it comes to this type of attack on smaller companies, there are many methods for getting such information, but the most common involve simply trying to attack email servers and browsers, the report said. This can be done via phishing attacks, even on social networks, that could allow hackers to gain access to login details. That, in turn, might allow them to use the small business and its sensitive data to not only steal from the company itself, but also its customers and clients. That’s why more hackers are turning their attentions to trying to crack their meager security measures instead of trying to take down the bigger companies they might have targeted in the past.
Owners who want to better protect their firms from these threats may have to consider investing in additional security costs. That could include not only beefing up their systems, but also investing in a type of small business insurance coverage known as tech insurance, which can help reduce the financial impact of suffering a breach.