Aren't We Too Small a Business to Be Impacted by Ransomware or Malware or Viruses?
“What could our business have that a hacker would possibly want?” and “We’re too small for a hacker to bother with, they just go after the big guys” are two misconceptions that lead to small businesses falling victim to cyberattacks.

Approximately 43% of all data breaches target small businesses, and smaller companies are increasingly involved in larger profile attacks. 

For example, the attack this year on over 250,000 Microsoft Exchange Servers around the world didn’t only include large corporations. Many small and mid-sized companies also had their servers hacked and information stolen. SMBs, local institutions, and smaller local governments were the primary targets in these attacks because they often have fewer cybersecurity protections in place.

No company is too small to be targeted for a virus, ransomware, or another malware attack. 

One example of a small business attack is a 2019 attack on a local Toronto dentist office. Staff suddenly became locked out of all their digital files and the ransomware attack encrypted files on 19 out of the office’s 22 computers. Thanks to a good data backup, the dental office did not have to pay the $165,000 ransom demand. They did however end up having to take patient notes by pen and paper for a day.

Why Aren’t Small Businesses Safe from Cyberattacks? 

Every Business Has Something a Hacker Can Use

No matter what type of business you have, you have something that’s of value to a hacker. It could be:

  • Employee files that can be sold on the Dark Web
  • Payment card or online banking details
  • Customer files with sensitive data
  • Money that can be extorted via a ransomware attack
  • Computer or servers that can be taken over and used for crypto mining
  • Email accounts that can be used to send phishing

So, while a hacker may not be interested in stealing “company secrets” from a shoe repair shop, there is plenty of other things there to make it worth their while to attack.

Small Businesses Are Often Less Protected

Small business owners often don’t budget enough for adequate cybersecurity. They make the mistake of thinking their cloud tools or operating system is enough to keep them protected without any additional help.

Without things like advanced threat protection or continuous network monitoring, smaller businesses often become victims of devastating malware infections and other breaches.

Hackers know that small businesses are usually less protected, so they see them as “low hanging fruit.” They can spend two weeks trying to break into a well-protected enterprise system or hit a bunch of less-protected small businesses and end up coming out ahead.

Hacking Is Easier Than Ever

The criminal landscape has evolved when it comes to cyberattacks, yet many business owners still imagine a shady figure in their basement sending out phishing and conducting attacks solo.

The criminal underground has institutionalized cyberattacks. Many groups are also state-sponsored, such as was the case with the initial attack on Microsoft Exchange Servers.

These criminal organizations haven’t just made their attacks more efficient by treating cybercrime as a business, they’ve also branched out into malware-as-a-service. So now, less experienced hackers can purchase a “hacking kit” and choose from a variety of attack options (ransomware, trojan, etc.) as if they were choosing shoes on Amazon.

There Are More Small Businesses Than Larger Ones

When targeting companies, hackers have more options if they go after smaller firms. In Canada, small businesses with between 1-99 employees make up 97.9% of all businesses.

By playing the odds, hackers often make out better when they target smaller companies. Enterprise corporations may give them a big one-off payout in data, but the time and effort that goes into trying to hack them can often be less lucrative than hitting several smaller companies.

What’s the Best Way to Protect Your Small Business From Attacks?

Proper IT security requires using a layered solution, and purchasing and implementing all the necessary layers can get expensive for a small business owner.

One of the best and most affordable ways to protect your small business is through managed IT services.

Managed IT offers a bundle of services that you get for one low monthly cost. Your technology is maintained and secured for you and you don’t have to worry that a piece might be missing from your security safeguards.

Some of the customizable services that Data First Solutions offers in our plans include:

  • DarkWeb Scans
  • Virus Protection
  • Personal Firewalls
  • Advanced Anti-Malware 
  • Guidance from IT Experts
  • 24/7 Availability to Reduce Downtime

Don’t Fall Victim to Ransomware, Viruses, or Other Malware

Data First Solutions offers affordable managed services solutions that are tailored to your needs and budget and designed to keep you fully secured from malware.

Contact us today to book a free assessment. Call 416-412-0576 or book your assessment online.