Cybercriminals know there’s nothing small about small to midsize businesses (SMBs). In addition to creating 64 percent of net new jobs in the U.S.1, these economic mainstays account for 54 percent of all U.S. sales and about half of all private-sector payrolls.2 Given their vital role in the economy, it’s no surprise that the smaller firms face a growing tide of cyber attacks. SMBs aren’t just targets—they’re cybercriminals’ top targets.

This paper examines the following five reasons cyber attackers target SMBs: 

1. Your data is more valuable than you think

2. Cyber attacks offer low risk and high returns for criminals

3. You’re an easier target

4. Many SMBs have their guard down

5. Most SMB security tools are no match against today’s attacks

Big Threats for Small Businesses: Five Reasons Your Small or Midsize Business is a Prime Target for Cybercriminals

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Your business could be one mouse click away from closing its doors forever. That’s the conclusion of a 2012 study by the National Cyber Security Alliance, which found that 60 percent of small firms go out of business within six months of a data breach.1 Cyber attacks are growing more sophisticated and, more often than not, target small and midsize businesses (SMBs). One unlucky click—a malicious email attachment, a link to a legitimate but compromised website—could result in a costly data breach that drains your bank account and customer trust.

1 U.S. Small Business Administration. “Small Business GDP: Update 2002-2010.” January 2012.
2 Ibid. “Small Business Trends.” Nov. 2013.


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