In an earlier blog post, we reviewed some of the startling and alarming statistics relating to the hacking of and resulting data breaches of SMB’s. Today we take a closer look as to why they are so vulnerable and so frequently targeted.

The path of least resistance

SMB’s are simply not focused on cybersecurity, as compared to larger enterprises. They consider themselves small change and not worth the time or effort of these “criminal hackers”. Cybersecurity is just not a top priority and their lack of focus and preparedness makes them an easy target for hackers. Often lack of resources and funding make it difficult at best to implement and maintain a sound cybersecurity policy and strategy. Not investing in the latest sophisticated data security defenses comes at a heavy price for SMB’s. Dedicated IT staff can be rare and their technical knowledge modest, often learning on the job.

SMB’s can be the doorway to larger companies (Small Fish – Big Fish)

Larger companies typically have far more sophisticated security measures in place and consequently more difficult to breach. Most SMB’s rely on these larger companies for services and goods and are connected electronically with the larger companies data systems. The lack of sophistication and security measures in place of SMB’s can provide a link/access and even login credentials to the bigger fish.

Training and awareness is key

Despite the lack of funding and technical resources, there is still much that SMB’s can do to prevent or at least lessen the likelihood of a data breach. There are many online resources available at little or no cost that can help outline a strategy and training program that can be implemented with employees that are in positions of handling sensitive data. Being aware of the different tactics and approaches that hackers utilize can go a long way in protecting data. If an employee is looking for irregularities or suspicions e-mails, they are much easier to detect. Research reveals that the biggest internal threat to a business is the human element, through errors made by employees. Companies need to educate their staff on the evolving threat landscape and the potential threats of opening unsolicited email attachments. As new threats evolve, employee training and awareness programs must be part of an ongoing strategy and policy to minimize potential threats.

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