In an increasingly plugged-in world, the sophistication and frequency of cyber-attacks have upped the ante. Cyber-attacks are now more sophisticated and common, and, as expected, tabloids have been having a field day with the topic of cybersecurity.
But with or without the screaming headlines, the stakes are real. There is news of major cyber-attacks on large corporations such as T-Mobile, Nvidia, or Colonial Pipeline everywhere you turn. You may have also come across headlines about Russian cyberwarfare against Ukraine.
The thing is, these headlines are often sensationalized. They can make it seem like large corporations are the main targets of these cyberattacks. Of course, it’s bigger news when the big boys are on the receiving end. But not so much for the little businesses.
However you look at it, it doesn’t hide the fact that cyberattacks are also a concern for small businesses. There are no favorites!
Small businesses are also a target
The widespread misconception among small business owners is that their businesses are too small for cyberattacks. They think that their enterprises don’t have anything of value to hackers. But this is a perilous line of thought.
You see, small businesses are low-hanging fruit because of their weaker security measures than large corporations. If it’s easy to get, why not? Breaking into some small firms’ systems is like shooting fish in a barrel for cybercriminals!
The cyber pirates are aware of the vulnerabilities of small businesses and are always more than ready to grab the chance.
While small businesses may fail to make the headlines, it doesn’t mean they’re immune to cyber attacks. They are as much a target as the big corporations, and sometimes more!
According to a report by Verizon, 43% of cyber-attacks are aimed at small businesses. That means more than four businesses in ten are a target. A sad state of affairs!
Common cyber-attacks on small businesses
Ransomware attacks are a dime a dozen for small businesses. In other words, the percentage of small firms falling for ransomware attacks is growing by the day. But what is ransomware?
Ransomware is malware that scrambles a victim’s files, intending to make them inaccessible to demand payment. The impact of ransomware on a business can be devastating.
The firm cannot access its files, which means it cannot work, make new sales, or collect on accounts receivable. This can stop a business from generating income until the ransomware situation is resolved.
The consequences of a ransomware attack are not limited to just the business itself. The attack can also affect the business’s customers and partners. This potentially leads to lost business and damage to the business’s reputation.
Cybersecurity is not just a business issue; it is a community issue.
Examples of small businesses that have been a target
Attacks on small businesses may not make big headlines, but they do sometimes make the news. If you look hard enough, you’ll find them.
Some examples of recent attacks include the Brookside ENT and Hearing Center in Battle Creek, Michigan. The attack forced the business to close its doors permanently.
Dr. Shayla Kasel in Simi Valley, CA. permanently closed her 20-year-old practice four months after the attack. Also, The Heritage Company, Arkansas, had to lay off 300 employees during recovery efforts, but no follow-up information has been provided.
We know numerous other examples of attacks because these businesses called us asking for help. Full details are not disclosed because releasing this information is not our place.
- A small doctor’s office with 20 employees in two locations (Mesa and Scottsdale, AZ) was the victim of a ransomware attack. They had to cancel all appointments and surgeries for about five days. In the second week, they could slowly return to normal operations.
- A small cloud software provider in Mesa, AZ, with 50 employees, suffered a ransomware attack. All their clients were offline and unable to use their software for four days while they completely rebuilt their entire environment.
- Another small cloud software provider in Austin, TX, with 35 employees, experienced a ransomware attack. All their software clients could not access their systems for nearly two weeks while they rebuilt them.
- There was another small cloud solutions provider in Southern California with over 100 users who suffered a ransomware attack. All their clients could not access their services for over three weeks while they rebuilt their systems.
- A small medical billing business in Florida with four employees experienced ransomware attacks three different times over 18 months. She rebuilt her business from scratch with new data the first two times before deciding to close doors on the 3rd ransomware attack.
Those are a few examples we’ve recently heard about within our limited network. And those stories never made it into the news. Ransomware cases like these happen daily but never get reported in the news.
The sad truth about all these examples is that the ransomware or cybercrime event is preventable. With today’s tools and security services, these ransomware attacks could have been stopped before they became major problems for these businesses.
Many business owners are complacent about security or ignorant of the risks. Others may think it is inevitable, so there is no need to burden about trying to stop it.
But the fact is that if small businesses implemented the security recommendations that are out there, they could prevent all the shutdowns. They could stop the wanton job losses, the extra IT expenses, the lost revenue, and the massive headaches.
The information is accessible to those who want to take a stand against these criminals. For example, check out our guide – the 15 ways to prevent cybercrime for your business.
Many small businesses are interested in implementing a cybersecurity system but lack the skills or the time to do it independently. For those businesses, let us at AZCOMP Technologies help.
Our team can implement a simple or comprehensive security solution for your business, depending on your budget. Contact us today for a brief cybersecurity consultation to get the process started.
About AZCOMP Technologies
AZCOMP Technologies of Mesa, AZ, is a leading provider of Managed IT services and technology solutions for businesses. AZCOMP’s mission is to help enterprises to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and increase cybersecurity through innovative tech solutions.
AZCOMP Technologies has provided business technology solutions and cybersecurity services since 2000. AZCOMP offers these services in Mesa, Tempe, Scottsdale, Chandler, Phoenix, Glendale, Apache Junction, Queen Creek, San Tan Valley, Gold Canyon, and more. Request your IT consultation today!