Small businesses are at risk from online attackers, with over 30 percent of attacks aimed at SMBs, a new report has revealed.
The report, produced by Symantec, found that cybercriminals are targeting small businesses for their customer data, intellectual property, and bank account information.
“They’re seen as soft targets, because they don’t tend to have the same defences as a larger organisation,” says Peter Vasey, SMB channel manager at Symantec.
“They’re being used for their data, but also as a leapfrog into a larger organisation. Though these larger organisations have greater security, they’re often working with small to medium enterprise companies that don’t have the same defences in place.”
Australia is now ranked at number 21 as the most targeted nation for cybercriminals, up three places from 24 in 2011, with spam, malicious code, phishing hosts, and bots particularly threatening.
“The sophistication of attacks, coupled with today’s IT complexities, such as virtualisation, mobility, and cloud, require organisations to remain proactive and use ‘defence in depth’ security measures to stay ahead of attacks,” says Peter Sparkes, director of managed security services at Symantec.
Despite the increase in attacks, Vasey believes small businesses can protect themselves through the implementing of a simple four-step plan.
He says it’s crucial that software and security systems are up to date, and that businesses have always have a back up plan in place.
It’s also important that employees have a general understanding of internet security.
“We can’t all be IT experts, but even just a general understanding of how to be secure about email and web surfing habits is important, like never just clicking on links in spam emails or clicking on attachments in emails from unknown sources,” says Vasey.