When it comes to starting a small business, new owners have many decisions to make and often leave cybersecurity measures by the wayside. Unless they focus on shoring up their defenses, they may inadvertently end up leaving points of entry wide open for hackers. That can be a major problem. A report by the U.S. National Cyber Security Alliance estimated that 60% of all SMBs fail within six months of a cyberattack.
According to Towergate Insurance, SMBs often underestimate their risk level, with 82% of SMB owners saying they’re not targets for attacks. They believe that, researchers said, because they feel they “don’t have anything worth stealing.” Stephen Cobb, a senior security researcher at antivirus software company ESET, said that SMBs fall into hackers’ cybersecurity sweet spot since they “have more digital assets to target than an individual consumer has but less security than a larger enterprise.”
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Couple that with the costs associated with implementing proper defenses, and you have a situation that’s primed for intrusions. Since security breaches can be devastating to a SMB, owners are more likely to pay a ransom to get their data back. SMBs can merely be a steppingstone for attackers to gain access to larger businesses.
Man in the middle (MitM) attack: In any normal transaction, two parties exchange goods – or in the case of e-commerce, digital information – with each other. Knowing this, hackers who use the man in the middle method of intrusion do so by installing malware that interrupts the flow of information to steal important data. This is generally done when one or more parties conduct the transaction through an unsecured public Wi-Fi network, where attackers have installed malware that helps sift through data.