U.S. governmental agencies and much of the Fortune 500 are investigating the fallout from the recently revealed SolarWinds hack, a sophisticated malware attack that has been called a grave risk to national security.
While small and medium businesses (SMB) may have not been the target of this cyber-attack, they are increasingly in the crosshairs of malicious actors looking for vulnerabilities in their network security.SMBs that fail to take network security seriously run the risk of sensitive data breaches, costly denial of service attacks, and financially draining ransomware demands.
“Most small business owners still don’t get security, don’t think it’s an issue, and are pretty defenseless,” said Neal O’Farrell of Think Security First in a PC World article. “They assume hackers would need to pick their business out of 27 million others, not realizing that the attacks are automated and focused on discovering vulnerabilities.”
One in Five Small Businesses Fall Victim to Hackers
According to the National Cyber Security Alliance network security should be a top priority for SMB as they estimate that one in five small businesses will be hacked each year, and of those attacked, more than half will go out of business within six months.
Alexander Chamandy of Envescent says that SMBs run the risk of having trade secrets, client data and other important information exposed or lost.
SMB that become victims to hackers can have the morale of their employees, clients and vendors harmed, as well as their reputation damaged. Worse, they can be out thousands of dollars with each data breach, which often lead to legal liabilities.
New Breed of Hackers Causing Big DamageThere was a time when SMB could be forgiven to think that they were not the prime targets of hackers, but cybercrime has morphed from the early images of lone hackers working in their parent’s basement to a world of sophisticated hackers working for nation-states or organized crime groups around the world.
Today’s hackers do not even have to know how to code as they can rely on black hat software tools to target victims for spear phishing, ransomware, and other malware attacks.
With 4.6 billion Internet users around the world, there is no shortage of targets for these cyber criminals and since the COVID-19 pandemic, crimes reported to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center almost quadrupled.
According to Cybersecurity Ventures, hackers cost businesses, organizations, and individuals around the world $6 trillion annually, or in the time it took you to read down to this paragraph in this story, $25 million in cybercrime was committed.
SMB Increasingly on the Hook
Cybersecurity Ventures says the outlook is not any brighter for 2021 with ransomware attacks on the continued rise. A business will fall victim to a ransomware attack every 11 seconds in the coming 12 months with the total damage at $20 billion.
According to the Internet Security Threat Report 2019, SMB are increasingly the victims with companies that have 250 or fewer employees accounting for almost a third of all hacks.
“Small businesses represent low risk and little chance of exposure for thieves,” said O’Farrell in the PC World article. “They typically lack the monitoring, forensics, logs, audits, reviews, penetration testing, and other security defenses and warning systems that would alert them to a breach.”
The cost of a breach in your company’s network security can be costly with the Ponemon Institute estimating that the average cost of a data breach in 2020 was $3.86 million around the world and $8.64 million in the United States.
And much like the SolarWinds hack, which went undetected from March until December, most businesses will not know they are hacked until valuable data is stolen or lost with the average time to identify and contain a data breach in 2020, a whopping 280 days.
At ATSI we realize security and privacy is essential for your business. Contact us today to learn how options, such as VPNs, can help make sure your business data and network are secure.