Cyber Security Threats and Data Loss: Hacker Attacks on SMB Organizations

Greg Edwards

In August of 2014 a cyber security, data breach affecting 51 UPS franchises across 24 states occurred. This data breach exposed client names, business and home addresses, email addresses and payment card details causing massive data loss. This was a malware intrusion and each branch was responsible for its own network, each franchise acting like a small business (SMB) in its own right. Ultimately, it is believed that over 100,000 customer transactions security was compromised by the data breach.

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Cyber Criminals Are Targeting SMB’s

Cyber Security isn’t just the problem of the big company. This is a problem that affects all of us. From the individual, the small business with one or two employees, through to medium size organizations and the large enterprise. This is something shared by each and every one of us, a cyber threat by a hacker or insider, that is big and growing bigger by the year resulting in massive data loss.

Small to medium sized business (SMB) cyber breaches don’t make the news, but the Verizon 2013 Cyber Crime Survey found that 62% of breaches were targeted at small to medium sized companies and according to the National Cyber Security Alliance, 60% of those affected will go out of business within 6 months. In one scenario, a process known as Island Hopping is being used. This involves using the SMB as a supplier to larger organizations as a conduit for security breaches via malware inserted into that organization, stealing intellectual property and causing other data loss from both the SMB and the enterprise partner, as it proliferates. We are all in this together and are all targets for a hacker.

SMBs Think It’ll Never Happen to Us

One of the problems we have as a SMB is that we don’t think cybercrime will ever happen to us. Several recent reports by industry analysts show that SMBs are in a state of denial about being targets of cybercrime and security threats. Cyber Streetwise reported that 66% of SMBs simply didn’t believe they were at risk from a cyber-attack. The National Cyber Security Alliance has found shocking statistics showing the careless attitude towards security, with 45% of smaller companies providing no internet safety training to employees even though 69% handle sensitive information. IPSOS research found that 69% of the 6.5 million small companies in the USA are unaware of the risk and cost of data loss through cyber-attacks.

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Cybercrime Costs

The trouble is, this is a real and present danger that can cost your company financially, in your reputation and ultimately in your business. Anti-virus software manufacturer Kaspersky estimates that the average cost of a security breach on a small to medium sized company is in the region of $47,000. Statistica, a company that provides data and statistics analysis, shows that in terms of cybercrime and small business in the USA, the damages in 2013 amounted to over $781 million and this is increasing year over year.

All is Not Lost: Preventing Cybercrime 101

Securing your company network is a multi-pronged process. You need to think like a hacker and secure across your layers, from employee upwards and outwards. There are some basic steps and procedures you can take to prevent your business from becoming a victim.

  1. Encrypt your data
  2. Use a good back up system that is hardened against certain malware attacks, for example, Axis Backup
  3. Use a firewall
  4. Install anti-virus and anti-malware software
  5. Educate your employees about phishing and internet security
  6. Use monitoring and patch management software as your watchful eyes over your network

As a small business you do not have the resources to handle the massive after effects of a cyber-attack and the resultant data loss. If you use WatchPoint Data’s security monitoring and patch management platform you will prevent your company from becoming a statistic of cybercrime.

WatchPoint gives you the opportunity to have the same level of cyber security as an enterprise with a price tag designed for the SMB pocket.

Check out our pricing, which starts at $150

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