We mostly hear about the big, successful hacking attempts involving companies such as Apple, and the like because that’s what makes it to the news. Unfortunately, the thousands of smaller companies around the globe that get hacked and blackmailed every year do not even make it to the news because they are too small to be considered newsworthy on their own, while with others, the media doesn’t even get to know about them.
That, however, doesn’t change the fact that multiple small organizations lose business, money and their reputation, or go bankrupt due to such criminal acts every year. This leads us to the question, why is it that SMEs are easy targets for hackers? Are the hacking organizations not supposed to target the big ones instead? The following discussions should help in providing a more practical answer to those questions.
The Myth of Safety
Perhaps the biggest and most fundamental reason behind smaller corporations being hacked with increasing numbers each year is the myth of being safe just because an organization is small in size or less reputed than the bigger names in the industry.
See: How to Protect Yourself From Hackers – Useful Tips For Small Business Owners
The problem is, while it was indeed true that criminal organizations on the web used to primarily target the big fishes at one point of time, that time is long gone. The black hat hackers and hardcore cybercriminals have realized that it is easier to hack a number of smaller organizations with minimal effort because they are not expecting them to attack, and are, therefore, ill-equipped to handle their targeted attempts.
Lack of Attention from Mass Media
The lack of attention from mainstream media regarding incidents of smaller cybercrimes has created a situation that works in favor of the cybercriminals.
It creates the myth of safety in indiscernibility, which was pointed out previously. If small companies are not hearing about others like them on the news enough, they are living in a false sense of security until the day they join the list and wake up to the harsh truth.
Bigger Targets are Harder Targets
It’s true that the big MNCs might have a bigger bullseye painted on their backs, but it’s nearly impossible for most hacking organizations to get through their security because they have complete, thorough and comprehensive cybersecurity systems and failsafe protocols in place to thwart the scores of malware swimming around on the web, as well as the targeted attacks, sent their way by the bigger cybercriminal organizations of the world.
Due to these factors, it’s just easier to prey on the smaller businesses which are either not aware of the dangers, or their cybersecurity simply isn’t up to the mark to handle the level of threat they might be facing.
Consider the following stats, as published and confirmed by credible authorities, to get an idea of the kind of dangers that SMEs face from cyberthreats in 2019 and beyond.
- Roughly 61% of all cyber threats are targeted towards smaller companies, with the percentage expected to grow exponentially
- DDoS and MitM attacks have a huge rate of success against SMEs
- 82% of the small business owners still believe they are not at risk from cyberthreats
The Need for Specialized, Cybersecurity Experts is Skyrocketing Right Now
The bigger companies have the shield necessary to protect themselves from the constant attacks because they have hired the professionals they need to create that all-important shield.
While awareness still needs to reach a much higher percentage, modern, digital companies, especially those working in eCommerce are now more aware of the dangers that are constantly present on the internet.
Both of the situations point towards the increasing need for cybersecurity experts in IT that can only increase in the coming years. Those already working in cybersecurity or even high-level IT maintenance should consider getting their Cyber Security Masters online to better equip themselves with the knowledge and the training necessary for handling the growing cyber threat across all sectors.
Although the online education makes for flexible routines and faster completion time, just make sure that the college or institution is an accredited one, preferably with EC-Council or CISCO Academy certifications.
Being small as a business has its own advantages too. Although it may not make the establishment as invisible as you may have thought, it still is a lot less expensive and less complicated to create and maintain a secure digital environment. Fewer security concerns mean that it’s a lot easier to protect your business online, with minimal investments in cybersecurity, but only as long as you are vigilant with the ones that are actually necessary.