Cybercrime: The Vulnerability of Small Businesses

The Impact of Cyber Crime on Large-Scale Companies

Data breaches have become a recurring threat for many large corporations and will continue to increase in severity during 2019 and beyond. Uber, a large and an evidently popular corporation, was hacked by two individuals during 2016. Due to this breach, nearly 57 million Uber riders and employees private and personal information including names, phone numbers, email addresses, and driver’s license numbers were stolen by the hackers.² The data was accessed through a third-party cloud based service, where the hackers were able to filter through millions of private profiles.¹ Uber chose to not publicly disclose the breach and paid a ransom of $100,000 to have the collected data destroyed.² This breach negatively impacted Uber financially which exemplifies the importance of cyber security for businesses and companies.

I Thought This Was About Small Businesses?

You may be saying "We're a small business, why does this matter to us?" Cyber attacks are not an enterprise-specific issue. There is no exclusion when it comes to cyber crime and hackers getting paid. In fact, 58% of small to medium businesses are targeted for hacks and data breaches. Most SMB's have a spotty cyber security plan in place, if at all, which makes them an easy target. You hear more stories about large companies like Uber, Marriott, or Equifax getting hacked because it affects a much larger amount of people, plus they are always in the public eye. For you, the difference between Uber and your business getting hacked is that Uber can spare $100,000 for their hack, can you? Marriott can still stay in business afterwards, can you? Equifax can recover their reputation, can you?

Victim Data and Cyber Security Tips for Small Businesses

The advancements of technology enable users and companies to store an abundance of consumer, business, and personal information. With the limitless number of files downloaded or stored on a technological device, it makes it easy for an individual or an organizational practice to become a target of cyber crime. Hackers aim to acquire valuable information to sell or trade illegally to make profit.

To take precaution, it's important for a company to acquire a secure network and control set boundaries to prevent any unauthorized access. Strong passwords are crucial to maintain a company’s privacy as well as obtaining a two-factor authentication method like DUO. Though passwords are a key factor to preserve a company’s data, many hackers inflict phishing attacks through emails. This type of cyber crime allows hackers to access databases and other sensitive information after a user clicks on a malicious link unknowingly.

Protecting private information is not always easy and many unknown attacks appear to be legitimate, yet have hidden complications. Research has shown that 41% of companies grant all employees access to over 1,000 sensitive files.³ Employees and employers should be aware of these risks to prevent cyber attacks and breaches within a company. Smaller companies have an even greater risk if there is an absence of strong security.

Cyber security spending is expected to increase annually by 9% per company. According to the 2019 ACR from Cyber security Ventures, cyber crime damages are expected to cost corporations $6 trillion yearly by 2021 - doubling the 2015 estimate of $3 trillion.³

Want to see if your network has been compromised? Click below to see the 5 signs:


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