3 Key Reasons Why Hackers Target SMEs and Individuals
According to recent data, cybercrime inflicts damages of up to $6 trillion every year. To put that in perspective, that means that, if it were measured as a country, cybercrime would be behind the US and China as the third-largest economy in the world.
When people think about cybercrime, incidents like the NASA cyber attack, the attack on the Sony Playstation network and the US data breach of 2015 often come to mind. But small and medium sized enterprises make up for nearly 50% of cyber attacks annually, with SMEs losing up to $30,000 on average per attack.
Add to this, nearly 1 million individuals experience cyber hacks every year, and it becomes clear that hackers are finding more reason to target the “little people ” far more than they’re willing to target the big corporations of the world.
Why SMEs and Individuals Are Attractive Targets
The reason why this is the case can be put down to the robustness of SME cybersecurity methods that hackers are coming up against. For instance, the cybersecurity network of the US government is going to be far more solid than an SME worth a few million.
When it comes to individuals, hackers also have several means to attain their data and target them. This is drawn from the digital footprint that every individual leaves when they are online – if a user interacts with a website, they are leaving a digital trail that is then harnessed by the company, and potentially even sold on by data brokers.
Cybercriminals can then take this information, either through data brokers or through the websites holding their customers data. Although there are ways to take control of your data in 2023, countless individuals are still not aware of how serious the problem is, which gives hackers plenty of opportunity to take advantage.
Why Are SMEs And Individuals Data Goldmines?
When it comes to the kind of data that is being collected, this can range from an individual’s age, their gender, their interests, hobbies, buying history, even their social media platforms and contact information.
For hackers, this presents a goldmine of opportunities to make profit, whether that be through scamming emails, phishing, or using the identity of their victims to break into accounts that contain even more valuable data, such as the victim’s address or payment details.
Impact Of Hacking On SMEs And Individuals
As mentioned previously, cybercrime costs the world a lot of money every year, and it is expected to reach $10.5 trillion annually by 2025. Losing money is not the only issue that SMEs and individuals face, however.
Over the years, there have been several incidents of victims suffering from emotional trauma after a cyber attack, with individuals feeling violated, vulnerable, and unsafe. For SMEs, one cyberattack can even be enough to shut down the business completely – 60% of small companies go out of business within the first six months of a data breach.
As well as this, there’s the issue of data being outside of the victims control. Once it is in the hands of hackers, personal data can be sent anywhere, from people search sites to other malicious cyber criminals.
The problem is only getting worse, which is why it’s so important that SMEs apply more robust security methods and individuals become aware of the issues, as well as what they can do to reduce the chances of being affected.