When a huge retailer like Target suffers a security breached, it makes headlines. With so many customers affected, it’s a national and very public matter. Smaller businesses don’t get this kind of coverage, which may lead some people to believe that they’re just too small to attract a hacker’s attention. But the truth is that small businesses account for about half of breaches, and many can’t recover for these devastating attacks. If you haven’t been paying attention to the numbers, it’s time to do a little math.
Money Is Money
Even the smallest of businesses has something a criminal wants, whether it’s credit card numbers, sensitive company information, or private customer data. If the thief isn’t explicitly stealing funds outright, they’re using blackmail to get what they want. While larger corporations were much more likely to be hacked even just a few years ago, the tides have turned as hackers figure out new ways to exploit unsuspecting business owners.
A Lack of IT Support
Small business owners don’t necessarily have the IT departments they need to place more layers between themselves and opportunists. When even tech juggernauts like Apple and Microsoft have to be weary, you can bet that small businesses don’t have the defenses to combat a sophisticated hacker. To makes matters worse, some breaches have nothing to do with tech infiltration. Social phishing is a highly common technique with scams. An employee gets an email that’s perfectly disguised as a co-worker’s friendly update, and they click on it to reveal the virus beneath.
The Cost of Hacks
While small businesses will never attract the same attention as major retailers, that doesn’t mean the effects aren’t extremely dangerous. Target had the resources to put the damage control into motion. Small businesses will have to pay $46,000 for a hack on average, which says nothing of the loss of trust between customer and company. Between the loss of funds and reputation, there are few small businesses that can come out of an event like a breach unscathed (and many that will end up shutting down completely.)
The good news is, there are a number of ways a small business can flesh out their security and protection. With more education and tech features, small businesses can vastly reduce their likelihood of being hacked. However, there is no guarantee with even the strongest methods, which is why the right commercial insurance can end up being the most important ally a business can have to save their livelihoods.