Cybercriminals target SMBs in various ways, using different tactics and techniques to exploit vulnerabilities in their systems and gain access to sensitive data. Here are some common patterns that cybercriminals target SMBs:
- Phishing Attacks: Phishing attacks are among the most common ways cybercriminals target SMBs. In a phishing attack, cybercriminals send fraudulent emails or messages to an SME’s employees, pretending to be a legitimate source, such as a bank or financial institution. The attack aims to trick the employee into revealing sensitive information, such as login credentials or financial. Phishing attacks are among the most common types of cyber attacks on SMBs, accounting for over 80% of reported cyber attacks. (source: Verizon’s 2021 Data Breach Investigations Report)
- Ransomware Attacks: Ransomware attacks are another common way that cybercriminals target SMBs. In a ransomware attack, cybercriminals use malware to encrypt an SME’s data and then demand payment for the decryption key. These attacks can be devastating for SMBs, resulting in the loss of sensitive data and damage to the SME’s reputation. Ransomware Attacks: Ransomware attacks are also on the rise, with a 150% increase in ransomware attacks on SMBs in 2020 compared to the previous year. (source: Coalition’s 2021 Cyber Insurance Claims Report)
- Malware Attacks: Malware attacks are a type of cyberattack in which cybercriminals use malicious software to access an SME’s systems and steal sensitive data. This can include keyloggers, which record a user’s keystrokes and capture login credentials and other sensitive information, and Trojans, which can give cybercriminals remote access to an SME’s systems. Malware attacks are a common cyber attack on SMBs, with 33% of SMBs experiencing a malware attack in 2020. (source: Keeper Security’s 2021 SMB Cyberthreat Study)
- Social Engineering Attacks: Social engineering attacks are a type of cyberattack in which cybercriminals use psychological manipulation to trick employees into revealing sensitive information. This can include tactics such as pretexting, in which cybercriminals impersonate a trusted source, or baiting, in which they offer something of value, such as a free USB drive, in exchange for sensitive information. Social engineering attacks are becoming more sophisticated, with a 22% increase in social engineering attacks on SMBs in 2020 compared to the previous year. (source: Keeper Security’s 2021 SMB Cyberthreat Study)
- Third-Party Attacks: Third-party attacks are a type of cyberattack in which cybercriminals target an SME’s suppliers or vendors to gain access to sensitive data. This can include attacks on cloud service providers, payment processors, or other third-party vendors that an SME may rely on for their operations. Third-party attacks are also rising, with 43% of data breaches reported in 2020 involving a third-party vendor or supplier. (source: Trustwave’s 2021 Global Security Report)
Cybercriminals target SMBs using a variety of tactics and techniques, exploiting vulnerabilities in their systems and taking advantage of human error and a lack of cybersecurity awareness. To protect themselves, SMBs must invest in robust cybersecurity measures, conduct regular employee training and awareness programs, and implement strict access controls to limit the amount of data each employee can access.
It’s worth noting that these statistics may vary depending on the size and industry of the SMB and the region and country they are located in. However, they provide a general overview of the prevalence of cyber attacks on SMBs.