Cyberattacks can have devastating consequences for businesses. A successful attack, for instance, can result in data loss, financial ruin, or reputational damage. In some cases, it can even cause physical destruction to equipment or facilities.
Cyberattacks are also becoming more prevalent, with cybercriminals creating about 300,000 malware per day. And while malicious actors target all kinds of businesses to steal sensitive data or disrupt operations, some organizations are more prone to cyberattacks than others. Let's look at five reasons why your California-based business might be an attractive target for cybercrime.
1. You have valuable data
The type of data you store is one good reason your business might be a more attractive target than others. Criminals will be eager to get their hands on any sensitive customer data you handle such as credit card details or Social Security numbers. These kinds of information fetch a good price on the black market, and cybercriminals can also use this data to commit fraudulent acts like identity theft.
2. You’re a small- or medium-sized business
Cybercriminals often see small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) as easy targets because they have less robust security measures than larger companies. Hackers know SMBs can’t properly defend themselves, and they take advantage of this situation by launching attacks that can be difficult or even impossible to recover from.
Apart from having fewer security measures and less experienced IT staff than larger businesses, SMBs are also more likely to pay a ransom demand if their data gets infected by ransomware. So for cybercriminals who want to make easy money but exert minimal effort, attacking SMBs with ransomware is an attractive prospect.
3. You belong in certain industries
The healthcare, finance, and government sectors are often targeted by cybercriminals because they tend to have high-value data but relatively weak security systems. For instance, many healthcare organizations still use outdated software, making it easy for criminals to gain access to their networks.
Organizations in these industries also have many third-party vendors whose systems are easy to hack, enabling cybercriminals to exploit the vendor’s security vulnerability to get a hold of the target organization’s data.
In addition, organizations in the mentioned industries often have large amounts of money and are willing to pay a high price for recovering their data. An important government office, for instance, will often choose to pay a price rather than risk its data being sold on the black market.
4. Your employees are not trained in cybersecurity
Companies whose employees don't have any cybersecurity training are easy pickings. So if your organization hasn’t taken the necessary steps to protect your employees, tricking unsuspecting users into falling for social engineering scams is a walk in the park. All it takes is for one of your employees to click on a suspicious email or download a malicious attachment, and the whole company could be in trouble.
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5. You’re simply an easy target
Even if you don’t have sensitive data or your company's not worth millions of dollars, your business could still be a target simply because you’re easy prey. Criminals will see you as a way to catch bigger fish; for instance, they can exploit your mismanaged access rights to infiltrate your network and gain access to the systems of other companies you work with.
Cybercriminals may also target you if they know you're using outdated software or operating systems that are more vulnerable to attack. Unsecured networks and devices can easily provide an avenue for attackers that exploit known vulnerabilities, enabling them to gain access to your data and wreak havoc on your business.
The best way to protect your business from cyberattacks is to be proactive about security. Be sure to keep your software and operating systems up to date, invest in robust security measures, and train your workforce on cybersecurity. Best of all, partner with one of Silicon Valley’s top business IT specialists: USWired. Drop us a line today.