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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : October 03, 2013

Cybercrime: Nobody is immune as hackers target SMBs

As more small businesses go without an office and do business on-the-go, often in public spaces such as cafes and airports, they are as much at risk of being targeted by cybercriminals as consumers, according to new data provided by online security and privacy firm AnchorFree.

by Helen Leggatt

Cyberhacking and malware are the top two types of data breach being experienced by today's small businesses. It's not just financial damage that firms incur, their reputation among consumers can be irreversibly damaged if a lack of security or risk-awareness enables cybercriminals access to data consumers have entrusted to their care.

According to a new infographic from AnchorFree and HotSpotShield, SMBs can't assume that their small size means cybercriminals aren't interested and they won't be targeted. Nobody is immune and hackers don't discriminate on location, size, industry or ethics. Every business, big or small, is a challenge to a cybercriminal.

In fact, if you think cybercriminals target only large companies consider this - one in three data breaches occur in businesses that have less than 100 employees.

Furthermore, almost three-quarters (72%) of data breaches among those small businesses involved cyberhacking and 56% involved malware.

AnchorFree has identified three types of hacker - the "Public Wi-Fi Predator", the "Hi-Tech Heinous Hacker" and the "Dumpster Diving Delinquent". Of the three, the Predator and the Hacker are of particular concern to small businesses doing business on-the-go in public offices, using public Wi-Fi or whose systems lack firewalls, anti-virus software or whose passwords aren't strong enough.

The use of a VPN service, installation of anti-virus and firewall software along with limiting information shared on social media, can all help ensure small businesses avoid becoming a victim of cybercrime, advises AnchorFree.

Tags: cybercriminals, cybersecurity, hackers, mobile security, small business trends, SMB, Wi-Fi

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