Blog 4 reasons why small businesses are vulnerable to cyberattacks
Alex Lloyd February 12, 2018

4 reasons why small businesses are vulnerable to cyberattacks

Cybercrime is at an all-time high. Attacks are getting increasingly sophisticated, and nobody is safe—including common internet users, small businesses, multinational conglomerates, and government institutions.

Among those organizations, small businesses seem to be the most vulnerable to an attack. In 2017, it was found that more than 60% of all cyber attacks were aimed at small businesses. Here are four reasons why small businesses remain the biggest target.

Lack of security measures

Small businesses generally don’t take advantage of any kind of network security. McAfee reported that around 90% of small to medium-sized businesses in the U.S. did not implement any form of cybersecurity protection.

Cybersecurity costs significant resources, and corporations often allocate millions of dollars to their security systems. Small businesses simply don’t have the financial capability to pay for an adequate cybersecurity infrastructure.

Threats are not taken seriously

In a 2017 survey conducted by CNBC of more than 2,000 small business owners throughout the U.S., only 2% thought of cyber attacks as their most significant problem. Small business owners did not consider themselves large enough to warrant interest and therefore assumed they would not be the target of cybercriminals.

This way of thinking, however, is the exact reason why small businesses are so vulnerable. Cybercriminals love to hit small businesses because they know the owners are lax when it comes to taking security precautions.

Low risk, high reward

In most cases, small businesses don’t possess the tools to detect an attack, let alone track down the perpetrator. When a business owner has money or information (or both) stolen from them, they don’t have a way of finding out who was behind the act. This makes them easy yet lucrative targets for cybercriminals.

Furthermore, small businesses rarely report cybercrime to the authorities. This might be due to the fact that owners know nothing will come of it. According to data gathered by the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, only 10% of cybercrimes reported by small business owners result in convictions.

Absence of a professional cybersecurity team

IT security for small businesses is almost non-existent. As we’ve mentioned, owners typically don’t have the resources to spend on cybersecurity, which also means they can’t afford to employ a team of professionals to maintain and monitor their security system.

Even if a small business utilizes some form of security, the tasks required to run it are relegated to a team of just two or three people who most likely have no prior experience with cybersecurity. And, if a small business can’t afford any additional staff, the job of running the security system usually falls on the owners, who also have little to no experience.

Whether you’re a regular internet user or a small business owner, a Virtual Private Network (or VPN) technology like Hotspot Shield can provide complete information security. AnchorFree’s Hotspot Shield technology helps businesses of all sizes protect their customers and secure their data. For more information, take a look at our partner section.

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About Alex Lloyd

Alex Lloyd heads AnchorFree's content department. Before joining the team, he was a former professional race car driver—competing in the Indianapolis 500 four times—and has spent the past decade writing content for major publications such as Yahoo and CNN.

View all posts by Alex Lloyd
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