Large corporations getting hacked is no big surprise because we hear about them constantly on the news. The biggest victims in the past few years were the Friend Finders Networks in 2016 and Equifax 2017, who had 412 and 146 customer accounts hacked respectively. Cyber security breaches like this result in massive losses to corporations both in terms of profits and public trust.
But what about small businesses? The truth is that small businesses get hacked too; they just don’t make the headlines as much. For instance, take the case of the Seehotel Jaegerwirt, a small hotel located in the Austrian Alps. This hotel was victim to four different cyber security attacks from December 2016 and January 2017, where hackers were able to manipulate their computers or keycards so that guests had problems checking in.
In the end, the hotel had to pay a ransom of 1,500 Euros in the form of Bitcoins to the hackers.
Why do Hackers Target Small Businesses?
The main reason why hackers penetrate the digital infrastructures of small businesses is because it’s typically easier than breaking into a large corporation. Most of the time small businesses don’t have the means (or don’t care) to invest advanced cyber security software, which essentially makes them sitting ducks.
Another reason is that small businesses hardly ever consider themselves target. However, just because your company doesn’t have high net worth doesn’t mean that hackers won’t find it an attractive mark. Hackers aren’t always after your money. Sometimes, they could be targeting your data instead. For instance, if you’ve been running a small hotel for many years, your computer’s database may have thousands of sensitive guest information stored in them.
What can you do about it?
Regardless of whether you run a multi-national corporation or just a mere local convenience store, you should invest in the proper cyber security measures. We highly recommend you get in touch a reliable local penetration testing company and determine just how vulnerable you are.
A penetration test is when you run a cyber-security drill or a simulation to test how strong your defences are. This involves some ethical hacking.
Even if you’re a small business there are many different entry points for hackers. For instance email is a very big liability. According to a Data breach report compiled by Verizon back in 2015, sending emails to the wrong recipients is a major cause for data leaks.
Even small businesses use cloud web applications these days to keep all of their processes integrated. In that case, it’s best to conduct routine web application penetration testing as these are quite vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
Similarly social engineering is something small businesses have to worry about as well. Social engineering is the process whereby hackers fool individuals into giving them sensitive information while posing as a trusted source.
The best measure against this is to educate yourself and your employees about social engineering techniques and come up with a proper counter attack plan. The right cyber security agency can help you conduct training sessions and create effective strategies.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you’re safe from hackers just because you’re a small business. Try to found out just how vulnerable you are and create effective strategies to deal with different cyber security breach scenarios.