The number of small businesses falling victim to cyber attacks is on the rise throughout the world, the Telegraph reports.
Law authorities and top cybersecurity experts are now warning that it’s not just blue chip companies, governments and celebrities that are under threat from cyber crime. As more and more start-ups and entrepreneurs enter the business world, a growing number of cyber criminals are setting their sights on them.
According to cybersecurity firm Symantec, over the last four years an increasing number of cyber thieves have been targeting small businesses, viewing them as ‘easy targets’. That’s partly because larger companies have ramped up their security and firewalls following big-name cyber security breaches; but many smaller companies are failing to do the same.
Symantec’s research shows that nearly half (43%) of global cyber attacks during the course of 2015 were on small businesses – those with less than 250 employees. Criminals exploited the digital weakness of smaller firms to steal data, crash websites and send spam to customers.
Explaining this in more detail, Symantec’s chief strategist, Sian John, noted: “Small businesses are a softer target. In phishing campaigns, for example, attackers try to make people change the account on record for paying people but in a large business, they have strong payments processes and that won’t get through.”
The World Economic Forum has identified cyber crime as one of the top global risks – and it’s on the rise. The number of malware pieces launched last year was up more than a third (36%) from 2014, reaching a worrying 430 million.
Experts are advising small business owners to do everything they can to protect themselves from cyber crime.