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Small businesses were victims of 61% of data breaches according to new Verizon report

Verizon recently published their 10th annual report on cyber breaches. A key point for small business is a whopping 61% of data breach victims in the report were businesses with less than 1,000 employees. Two factors are probably in play here – the big companies have built better defenses and the cyber criminals are going where it is easier – small businesses with weaker defenses.

Highlights for small businesses from the 2017 report include:

  • Password security continues to be lousy. 80% of hacking-related breaches involved stolen or weak passwords.

  • Ransomware use by cyber criminals is rapidly increasing and is now the 5th most common form of malware. It held the 22nd place last year.

  • More point-of-sale (POS) attacks are targeting small businesses.

  • Cyberespionage is up to 21% of breaches, from last year’s 13%. Manufacturing is a major target.

  • 25% of breaches were caused by insiders, either initially or by accidently losing data.

  • On the good news side, only 2% of the DDoS attacks targeted small businesses.

What one thing you can do immediately

If you don’t have a strong password policy that is monitored and enforced, you need to implement one immediately. Without one, you are risking your business as if you were leaving the back door to your company’s building unlocked every night.

About the Author - Carolyn Schrader is a seasoned cybersecurity professional and founder of the Cyber Security Group Inc., providing corporate cybersecurity services to high profile clients.

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