In the past year, the news has reported on a record-breaking breach suffered by Yahoo, the barrage of hacked emails from members of the Democratic Party and a massive cyber attack that shut down a number of major online entities, including Twitter, Amazon, Netflix and PayPal. While these attacks would seem to act as a warning sign that businesses need to better protect their data and their company from the affects of a cyber attack, many executives instead dangerously assume they're safe. "After all," the reasoning goes, "hackers are only interested in huge targets, such as multinational corporations and political parties. They won't go after me. I'm too small."
Of course, that outlook flies in the face of current statistics, which suggest that every company–no matter the size–is at risk. In its 2016 Internet Security Threat Report, Symantec noted there is plenty of hacking to go around. Of the companies in their study, small businesses (fewer than 250 employees) accounted for 43% of all attacks, medium size (250-2,500 employees) 22% and large corporations (2500+) 35%. The report also noted that there's been a steady increase in attacks on companies with fewer than 250 employees over the last five years. In fact, attacks on those companies jumped 11% from 2014 to 2015.
One explanation for this jump in attacks on small to mid-size companies is obvious. Hackers know these companies are less likely to have a data security plan in place, making them an easier target. Even more, it's becoming easier for them to initiate attacks through automated malicious code that gets access to your system and sends back the data. Thanks to these unmanned attacks, they don't need to expend much energy to attack smaller companies making it more worth the effort.
Now in addition to the fact that your data may not be well protected and hacking has become easier, throw into the mix that you're in the mortgage banking business and collect personal information from your customers, prospects and employees. Put that all together, and it's no stretch of the imagination to see how your firm could be the perfect target for an enterprising cyber thief...
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Call me, Lee Brodsky, at 312.915.2226 or email Lbrodsky@jmbins.com