Small businesses are facing ever-increasing amounts of cyber attacks each year. According to a new report from Sitelock, the average small business is attacked 44 times a day. On top of that, software “bots” are probing these websites worldwide about 152 million times per week.
These findings are yet another indicator of small businesses being a target for hackers. In 2011, small companies were only targeted by hackers around 18% of the time. These days, the rate is somewhere around 43%. Website breaches have also climbed to 61% this year, up from 53% last year.
More than 18.5 million websites are infected at any given moment, meaning it’s extremely likely that the average business owner’s site has already been hacked. Security breaches can cost small businesses as much as $84,000-$148,000 to deal with. Because of this, 60% of small businesses go under within six months of an attack.
With so many businesses facing cyber shutdown, you’d think owners would be aware and concerned about their website. Sadly, this isn’t the case, as 90% of small business don’t use any data protection at all for company and customer information.
“Most small business owners don’t think they’re at risk. As a result, it’s fair to say they are indeed ill-prepared to safeguard against an attack,” said Bryan Seely, a network engineer who famously hacked the FBI. According to a recent survey, 87% of small business owners don’t feel they’re at risk of a cybersecurity breach and 1 in 3 don’t have security protocols in place to protect themselves.
“Small and medium-size businesses typically have fewer resources (e.g., money as well as knowledgeable people) to secure their IT infrastructure as well as maintain a good backup strategy,” said Engin Kirda, professor of computer science at Northeastern University. This makes them a prime target for hackers and is likely the reason so many hackers target small businesses.
If small businesses want to quell the attacks on their websites, it’s imperative they not only beef up security, but also spread the word about cyber dangers to other entrepreneurs in their network. Only then will small businesses have a fighting chance against malicious software and data breaches.