Why Do Hackers Continue to Target Small Businesses?

Why Do Hackers Continue to Target Small Businesses?

These days, many small business owners may see the massive data breaches that have effected some of the biggest-name companies in the U.S. and thought that this kind of incident would never end up affecting them because of how tiny their companies are in comparison. However, experts say that’s the kind of attitude that often leaves companies more vulnerable to an attack, which may be inevitable.

While hacking attacks at Target and similar massive national name brands may grab the headlines, security experts say that they’re extremely difficult to pull off, and that small businesses are far more likely to be affected, according to a report from Dark Reading. The reason for this is simple: Hackers may take months trying to crack a massive business’s complex systems in an effort to obtain a potential treasure trove of stolen payment or customer data, but experienced ones can make a smash-and-grab move on a smaller company’s often lax security in no time at all.

How big of a potential problem exists?
The issue for small businesses, experts note, is that when they run their own websites, they make themselves vulnerable, the report said. This is because not relying on a larger company with more capabilities for building a sophisticated security system may be cheaper, but will also reduce the likelihood of fending off a prospective attack. And today, close to 2 out of 3 small businesses run their own sites, up from less than 1 in 6 as recently as four years ago.

And that puts an incredible onus on small businesses to make sure they’re doing all in their power to avoid potential issues, the report said. Some data shows that as much as 7 percent of all website traffic is simply the result of constant hacking attacks trying to probe sites – large or small – for vulnerabilities that can be exploited. The math on that works out pretty simply: A website that earns just 100 unique visitors every day will be the subject of about two data breach attempts per hour, 24 hours a day, year-round; that’s nearly 20,000 such instances per year.

For these reasons, it might be wise for owners to try to beef up their sites’ security, while also investing in small business insurance policies that help protect them financially in the event of such losses. This kind of tech insurance may go a long way toward saving companies thousands or more if they’re hit by a data breach.