Why are SMEs Big Targets for Hackers?

According to the latest statistics from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, 60% of medium businesses and 40% of small businesses have identified a cyber breach in 2019. The long term financial impact that these attacks cause for businesses varies but, on average, the cost is rising dramatically. Last year, the average long term cost was £910; this year, it was recorded at £1,460 — a rise of 60% in twelve months.

Small and medium businesses face a significant risk when it comes to cyber crime and data breaches. An attack can undermine your business’s reputation, incur penalties or fines, and lead to the business folding. Proper data management is essential to businesses of any size, and any sector.

It may be surprising to know that SMEs are such appealing targets to cyber criminals but, in 2018, the collective cost for SMEs dealing with incidents totalled £8.8 billion. Hackers looking for sensitive data, passwords, and access to larger business will employ a number of tactics to breach a company network, and insufficient security measures make SMEs excellent targets.

What are They Looking for?

It’s a common misconception that hackers will only target high-profile organisations that deal with a wealth of critical information. This may be due to an outdated view on cyber crime, or because bigger breaches tend to be more widely reported by news outlets.

While this may have been true ten years ago, our increasingly digital age means that cyber criminals are becoming more prolific than ever before, and they have begun targeting SMEs for the purpose of obtaining and profiting from the sensitive data they are storing.

Hackers can profit from various types of data, including passwords, bank and credit card details, addresses, telephone numbers, and medical records. Of course, the information hackers are looking for depends on the nature of the business they are targeting; once obtained, it can be sold for a profit, or used for identity theft, fraud, and blackmail.

What’s more, SMEs can also be used by cybercriminals as ‘middlemen’, as they provide an excellent opportunity for hackers looking to gain access to larger corporations.

Why are SMEs Easier Targets?

Even though attacks on SMEs are largely ignored by the media, the statistics demonstrate quite how significant the threat is to smaller businesses. When your reputation and livelihood is at stake, it’s important to understand the very real threats posed by cybercrime — and why your business could be at risk.

In general, the data security tactics used by SMEs tend to be insufficient, and not as advanced as the measures taken by larger businesses, where the threat of cybercrime seems more immediate. These deficiencies are usually due to a lack of education among employees — both with regards to the severity of the threat, and how to ensure that the network remains protected — and a reliance on outdated systems and data management.

Cybercriminals find weak spots in the company’s data security, and since online threats are constantly evolving, it is important for businesses of all sizes to ensure that they are always prepared to defend themselves against new, and increasingly intelligent, risks.

How Can Outsourcing Your Data Management Help?

63% of small businesses and 67% of medium businesses have outsourced their data security services in 2019. A dedicated information security management company is able to invest significantly more time, money and training into finding security solutions for businesses, which means that outsourcing your data management allows you access to a higher level of expertise, for a much lower cost than a full-time IT manager.

What’s more, when it comes to complying with government regulations, a GDPR consultant will have the right experience and knowledge to get your data management in accordance with the laws, which will help you to avoid the heavy fines incurred if a business is not taking the proper measures to protect their data.

Securing flexible and personalised cyber security services will ensure that an effective and proactive approach is being taken to your business’s data management.

Get in Touch Today

At Omicron, we aim to build a collaborative and proactive approach to securing your IT systems, and ensuring that your business is safe from cybercrime, and the risks of data theft. Don’t suffer from lost time, money, and reputation to hackers — get in touch with us today.

At Omicron, we are guided by your business’s individual needs and requirements, and will provide flexible and versatile IT support that allows you and your business to get the very most out of your IT systems.

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