Ask A Hacker: Small Business Security

Submit your #askahacker questions to @soteriasecurity on Twitter. Chosen questions will receive a response from our consulting team and a Soteria gift pack.

@ltpate3, great question!

Small business security is becoming increasingly important, as hackers have been placing greater emphasis on targeting small businesses in recent years. Every breach that occurs doesn’t make the front page of the news, but that doesn’t mean that breaches aren’t happening every day to businesses of every size.

Data published in Symantec’s 2016 Internet Security Threat Report indicates there has been a dramatic rise in small businesses being the target of phishing scams. In 2015, small businesses made up 43% of phishing attack targets. Compare that to 2011 when small businesses were only 18% of phishing targets. A sharp increase in just 4 years time!

But these statistics don’t answer the question of why a hacker would choose to target smaller firms over larger ones. Does it make sense for a hacker to “waste” time going after a small business when they could steal greater amounts of money and data from larger firms? The answer: Yes!

Hackers looking to profit off businesses can be seen as businessmen themselves; Hackers need to make strategic choices on how they will spend their time and money to get the best return on their investment. Many small businesses take minimal security precautions, making their data and money the lowest hanging fruit. If a hacker is looking to target firms, going after the businesses with no security make for quick and easy targets. At the end of the day, stealing 100,000 credit card numbers from 1 large firm is as valuable as stealing 1000 credit card numbers from 100 smaller firms. If smaller firms are doing little to protect their data, then hackers have to invest less of their time and resources into stealing information from them.

Long story short, small businesses are targets for hacking, and the statistics exist to prove it. Every business should take security seriously and do what they can to keep from being the lowest hanging fruit.

If you are a business looking for low-cost improvements to your security, follow @soteriasecurity on Twitter for easy-to-implement tips curated by our expert security consultants. It’s a simple and free way to start getting your small business security on the right track!