Anyone who has been following the news recently knows that cybercrime is becoming a frequent occurrence for major corporations, with a new data breach occurring practically every week. What most people don’t realize, however, is that small businesses are actually more likely to become the victims of hackers than big companies.
Owners of small business are lulled into a false sense of security when it comes to cyber threats because the only data breaches that are publicized are those that affect millions of customers at retailers people shop at every day. And while those are obviously worrisome scenarios, they don’t make other companies any less vulnerable to cybercrime because they store information on a smaller number of consumers.
“Just because you’re a small business doesn’t mean your information is any less valuable to hackers,”said Fred Reck, President of Innotek Computer Consulting. “Small businesses have a lot of personal information of their clients, and they are not nearly as well protected as these large companies are. Small businesses are low-hanging fruit because they don’t believe they are a target, and therefore have very loose or no security systems and protocols in place.”
Risks to small businesses only increasing
Small businesses are so at risk for hacking that 20 percent of them fall victim to cybercrime every year, according to the National Cyber Security Alliance – and that statistic is only growing larger. Forbes reported that half of all cybercrime is targeted at small businesses.
The reason hackers are less interested in major corporations than small companies is largely due to the prevalence of bring-your-own-device policies in businesses of that size. Employees use their own mobile devices while at work, connecting to personal email and social media accounts, both of which are commonly used by cybercriminals to craft convincing phishing attacks. According to Reck, 600,000 Facebook accounts are hacked every day and 80 percent of employees admit to using social media between one and five hours a day while at work.
While it would seem convenient to simply keep employees from using their personal devices while at work, the atmosphere of the modern enterprise doesn’t make that feasible. In order to increase security while still providing workers with the mobility and flexibility necessary to operate, companies should implement a layered security solution that includes endpoint protection and anti-executable services. Application control Software like Faronics’ Anti-Executable Enterprise solution ensures that employees are only able to run approved applications, greatly reducing the the possibility of malicious applications installing malware on company networks.