The growing IT threat most small businesses don’t see coming

Computer criminals have a new target in mind. And most targeted victims are completely unprepared. 

After preying on larger firms for years, many hackers are taking aim at small to midsize businesses.

Why now? Because the majority of larger companies have finally heeded IT warnings and beefed up their security systems — and many smaller firms have yet to follow suit.

The result: Hackers would rather go after a smaller business with weaker security than a larger one with airtight protection.

But the majority of smaller companies are still in the dark about this growing threat. According to a survey by Chris Gray, the director of innovation policy at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, almost two-thirds of small and medium-sized businesses believe large businesses are still the main target of cybercrime.

In addition, the annual Visa Security Summit in Washington, D.C., cited this industry research about small businesses’ vulnerability to threats:

  • 66% have no security plan in place
  • 60% have no encryption on wireless links, and
  • 20% of small businesses don’t use antivirus software.

Now’s a good time to huddle with IT or bring in an outside consultant to find out how secure your firm is.

Experts also recommend small businesses rely more heavily on banks and third-party security services to deal with their credit-card processes. The reason: Small businesses won’t have to hand over large amounts of credit-card data.

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