Small business owners often believe that their companies are not all that interesting as targets for cybercriminals. Indeed, on the one hand, there is less potential benefit for the cybercriminals from an attack on such organizations. On the other, small businesses have much smaller budgets for cybersecurity, and, as a rule, have no dedicated information security specialist at all. That greatly increases the chances of a successful attack. But these are all theoretical considerations. Let’s take a closer look at five real reasons why a small company can become the victim of a cyberattack.
The existence of an initial-access market
Our experts recently investigated the shadow market for initial access to corporate infrastructure. According to the results of their study, most of the ads posted on the darkweb offer access to small companies. In practice, this means that attackers won’t waste time or resources on attack preparation — they’ll simply purchase access from initial-access brokers, and use it to infect your computers with malware or steal confidential information.
Phishing emails and malicious attachments are not necessarily sent directly to employees of a company. Sometimes attackers collect email addresses related to some industry, and sometimes they simply send them to a broad list of recipients. One way or another, among the recipients of such emails may be employees of any company, including SMBs.
Financial malware is usually used to steal credentials from online banking services or payment systems. The size of a victim-company isn’t so important for attackers — even the data of individual users is of interest to them. Furthermore, according to the Financial Cyberthreats in 2021 report, small businesses make up a large percentage of those victimized by cybercriminal groups like Zbot, SpyEye, CliptoShuffler and Emotet.
The WannaCry epidemic occurred more than five years ago, but its legacy is still felt today: any vulnerability that experts call “wormable” (i.e., can be used for spreading malware over a local network), inevitably causes media hype. If malware has the functionality of a worm, then a single infected device (for example, a laptop that was infected at someone’s home) can compromise the entire corporate network.
Every now and then there’s news of new malicious packages found in various code repositories. Software developers can embed these packages into their products and unwillingly compromise their customers. The developer’s infrastructure itself can also be hacked in order to implant malware into the its final product. As a result, a program that your company has been using for years can suddenly become malicious. This is called a supply-chain attack. A textbook example of one is the story of ExPetr. Attackers compromised the automatic update system of the M.E.Doc bank reporting program, and sent the ExPetr cryptor/wiper to all its customers, both large and small.
How to protect a small company
To protect a small business from modern-day cyberthreats, it’s not necessary to buy expensive security products with features you don’t need. An ideal solution for protecting a company with several employees is a freshly updated Kaspersky Small Office Security.
Kaspersky Small Office Security doesn’t require an expert to configure it, which is convenient for owners of small businesses that don’t have full-time IT specialists. The solution allows you to protect devices on Windows, Mac and Android platforms and also file servers. It has a modern anti-phishing engine and advanced technologies to protect against ransomware. You can learn more about it on the solution webpage.