Small and medium-sized businesses have long felt like they were guarded from thieves and other ne’er-do-wells because they weren’t the same sizable, juicy targets that large corporations are. These led them to develop a false sense of security, which corporate data thieves are now using to their advantage to attack unprepared businesses. Let’s explore why cyber attacks are focusing more on small to medium businesses instead of large corporations.

A False Sense of Security

The idea of “safety in numbers” has erroneously been interpreted by small businesses for numerous years. They’ve become relaxed with regards to their own digital security measures because the biggest targets have always been the ones corporate data thieves have hit. This has resulted in smaller businesses having fewer security measures to prevent data theft, which in turn has turned them into the perfect targets for thieves.

Stronger Security Dissuades Attacks

Another part of the security equation concerns how large businesses have substantially upgraded their security. Data theft, while it does happen to large businesses, is incredibly limited. This makes large corporations less of a target because of the increased steps attackers must take to steal from them.

Attacks on a Massive Scale

The last part of why small businesses are more at risk than ever concerns one last thing: scale. There are many small and medium-sized businesses with relaxed or improper security measures. This allows attackers to utilize otherwise harmless things like search engines or public exploits to attack websites and social engineering employees to successfully steal data without being noticed. When this happens on a massive scale, the attackers can make more than if they had one big score from a very large target with minimal effort.

Small and Medium Businesses More Vulnerable than Ever

When you bring these three unique qualities together, you acquire a recipe for disaster. Tara Flannigan, a security expert from Vital Records Control, says leading cybersecurity firms have already stated that attacks on small and medium-sized businesses are increasing. They’ve also stated that attacks are only going to become more numerous and costly, unless businesses take action to harden their defenses against corporate data theft.

Protecting Yourself from Data Theft

The upside to this revelation is that you can do a considerable amount to increase your business’s security. You need only regularly upgrade and update your software, train your employees in some simple security basics to prevent social engineering, limit the amount of data any one person can divulge, and employ smart software practices like email encryption. When these things are performed, the chances of your corporate dating being stolen becomes significantly lower than it would be without them. Attackers will be less likely to attack you if you take the extra steps to stop the most common types of attacks.

In the almost inevitable case that your data does get stolen, it will hopefully be useless to the other party, encrypted, or only part of the complete picture. This will keep you, your business, your employees and your customers safe from malicious individuals.