Recent Studies Show Small Businesses Are Big Targets for Cyberattacks — And May Have The Most to Lose


It's not uncommon for small and mid-sized companies to assume they’re safe from cyber criminals. They reason that their smaller scale and lower level of visibility make them less enticing to would-be crooks.

Unfortunately, this is a mistake.

According to recent cyber security studies, small businesses may be a bigger, and easier, target than larger ones. Criminals suspect, too often accurately, that small businesses may not be paying enough attention to protecting their data. 

The Data Don’t Lie: Small Businesses Are Big Targets for Cybercrime

In a recent Verizon cyber security study of nearly 42,000 cyber security incidents, researchers found that 43% of data breaches occurred in small businesses. This represented the largest single demographic included in the study, suggesting that small and mid-sized businesses are at the highest risk for experiencing a data breach. The Verizon study also found that and 69% of these attacks occurred due to the actions of outsiders: organized criminal groups, state-affiliated actors, and independent hackers. These two data points, taken together, suggest that small businesses are—far from flying under the radar—a big target for cyber criminals. 

The Cost of Data Breaches Can Be Disastrous for Small Businesses

A breach or other major cyber security incident doesn’t just slow your company down; it can result in a major hit to the bottom line—from which small businesses may be less equipped than larger enterprises to recover. Outages caused by cyber attacks can lead to periods of financial loss, legal costs, hits to business sreputation, as well as missed opportunities to grow and reach new customers. As a result of all of these factors, according to IBM’s 2019 Cost of a Data Breach study, a data breach costs a small or mid-sized businesses an average of $2.5 million.

It may not be surprising, then, that another recent national cyber security report revealed the devastating truth that 60% of small businesses that fall victim to cyber criminals fold within six months of the incident.

All this goes to show that the stakes couldn’t be higher for small businesses to take control and keep their precious data safe.

There Is Hope: How Small Businesses Can Mitigate the Risk of Cyber Attack

While there is no silver bullet solution for preventing all cyberattacks, there are measures small businesses can take to achieve a high level of cyber security. Cyberattacks are best prevented with a holistic approach to cyber security that includes safeguards, processes, training, and proactive management. To give you an idea of what such an approach might look like, here’s a list of measures that should be a part of any business’s cyber security plan:

  • Implementing secure network design with business-class firewalls.

  • Instituting industry-standard security policies, including user access and credentialing.

  • Implementing safeguards aligned with the needs of your business, from antivirus and spam filtering to secure email and threat detection solutions.

  • Establishing a recurring update and patch management strategy.

  • Consistently performing risk assessments on all of your technology systems on a recurring basis.

  • Consistently training employees on cyber security best practices.

With these measures, a qualified IT professional can create a solid cyber security plan that sets a small business up for success.

Ready to Get Serious about Your Small Business’s Cyber Security? Affinity Technology Partners Offers Nashville’s Small Businesses Peace of Mind.

It’s too risky to underestimate the impact of cyber attacks on your small business. The highly professional IT consultants at Affinity Technology Partners are experienced in designing and managing effective cyber security solutions for small businesses. We have developed a reputation in the Nashville area thanks to our highly-trained and proactive teams of IT service professionals. Let us make a plan to keep your data secure right now and for years to come. We’re in it for the long haul with our clients and know there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all cyber security. It’s our job to develop a plan with nothing but your small businesses in mind.  

Give us a call or schedule an IT consultation online to find out how a partnership with Affinity Technology Partners can help your business today.