Cyber security has become a fundamental component of business operations. The ever-changing threat landscape demands investment in security policies, procedures and products no matter a company’s size, market or location.
Many small businesses however, appear unaware of just how threatening the world has become. From the use of mass targeting techniques to identify thousands of small business targets, to the changing data protection landscape and the risk of punitive fines should sensitive data be compromised, locking down business data is – or should be – an imperative.
Despite all this, many cyber security tools have failed to keep pace with threats, unlike Anti-Virus software, and many security products have simply not been designed to meet the needs of small businesses.
Faced with complex administration tasks and a lack of expertise to define and manage security policies, many small businesses continue to put cyber security to one side.
The safety delusion
Many small business owners are aware of cyber threats, but for the most part, attacks are referenced in the context of state sponsored cyber terrorism, threatening the infrastructure of countries or large multinational corporations.
With this in mind it is tempting for small businesses to believe they are irrelevant to the new scale cyber terrorists. But this is a big mistake.
It is that very too small to be targeted mindset that is putting small businesses at risk of mass targeting attacks.
Individual small businesses may not be specifically selected by criminals, but they are being routinely targeted as part of mass surveillance activity, with targets being those organisations that are not adequately protected exactly because they are under the delusion they are too small to be a target.
With automated tools able to locate thousands of targets a day, it takes a criminal less than an hour’s work to determine the target business’ value and then step up the payload.
While it is true the Chinese government may not be aware of a single small business – you can guarantee there are tens of thousands of criminals and fraudsters leveraging low cost automated technology to seek out vulnerable small businesses, right now.