Why Small Business Is A Big Cyber Crime Target

July 23, 2020
Jeff Ahlerich

Thinking your business is too small to be hacked makes you a very attractive target for a cybercriminal. Cyber terrorists understand that small to mid-size businesses often fail to prepare for the possibilities inherent in data encroachment. This has resulted in rising numbers of digital security breaches in the small business sector. This article will review the latest statistics on cybersecurity for the small to mid-size company, discuss why you should worry, and offer a resource to help mitigate the risks.


Just looking at the numbers could make any business owner lose sleep; last year cybercrimes cost us $2 trillion. The problem in part is that cybercriminals regularly change their tactics so that companies are constantly counteracting these moves in a kind of digital arms race.

Your employees add a level of uncertainty into the security equation. You may have the best firewalls, virus protection, and upgrades that money can buy, and all it takes is one unsuspecting employee to click on a phishing email to unleash malware on your organization. Estimates predict employee cybersecurity awareness programs will cost companies $10 billion annually by 2027. And, with many employees working from home, an increase in mobile malware is almost inevitable. But despite these trends, small businesses comprise just 13% of spending in the cybersecurity market; most small companies invest less than $500 annually.

But how do these statistics impact the small business owner who is a very small fish in a perceived global pond? Let’s look at the numbers to determine your risk. CPO Magazine reports:

  • One-half of all cyber-attacks are aimed at small businesses. Cybercriminals are not only interested in credential and identity data from your staff, but also the information they can cull from your customer accounts. Consider how your reputation could suffer if you allow a cybercriminal to steal client data and you’ll understand the importance of paying attention to these numbers.
  • Cybercrime is about to see a huge increase; by 2021, it will cost us $6 trillion, which is more than all of the global natural disasters in one year.
  • Only 10% of cyberterrorism attacks are even reported each year. The statistics show that U.S. businesses have greatly contributed to the undercounting of these numbers. This could be in part due to the reputational damage that occurs when a company discovers they failed to keep private data safe.
  • There is a ransomware attack every 14-seconds. Ransomware is a type of malware that usually arrives via an incongruous email from what appears to be a trusted source. When an unsuspecting employee clicks on the attachment, a virus unleashes and locks every computer on the network. To unlock the files, the company must pay a ransom to the cybercriminal. Ransomware is far too common and far too costly these days to ignore, no matter the size of your business.

Cyberterrorists can do more than cost you money, they can wreck a small business. But small companies continue to believe it can’t happen to them because they aren’t large enough to be a target. The reality is that, in today’s digital environments, every business is at risk.

Find a cybersecurity firm that works closely with businesses of all sizes to help mitigate the risk of a cyber breach. Consider asking experienced security professionals about a customized program that will help your company stay safe as exposure to risk continues to increase in the future. It doesn’t have to be an expensive proposition. In fact, there are a surprising number of options available to help protect even the smallest of businesses.

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