What Is An SMB?
SMB is an acronym for “small to medium-sized businesses.” This abbreviation is commonly used in the literature of the business world, just because it’s more convenient than typing the whole term. In this article, we will be focusing on the many cyber threats out there, with a special emphasis on the risks they pose to SMBs.
An SMB is usually defined as a company with somewhere between 1 and 999 employees. Once you hit the 1,000-employee mark, you are no longer considered to be an SMB. If you want to know where the dividing line lies, any business with fewer than 100 employees is considered a small business, while those with 101-999 are defined as “medium-sized.”
Why Are SMBs Targeted By Cyber Criminals?
At this point, you might be wondering why a hacker would even bother to target small businesses. After all, these companies are small potatoes in comparison to the big multinational conglomerates. Surely, a hacker could gain a lot more by hacking a large company…or so it might seem.
Like a common thief, your average hacker isn’t looking for a challenge. Rather, they are looking for a score, and they will seek to get that score as easily as possible. Whether they want money, information, or anything else, they will generally look for an easy target.
To put it in perspective, think about it this way…who is more likely to be targeted by violent criminals? A 6’5″ bodybuilder/martial arts expert who always carries a weapon…or a small and elderly person who can’t run and never carries anything except a purse or wallet. Obviously, the answer to this question is a no-brainer. Criminals of all sorts will generally go for the easiest target, and SMBs are often the easiest target.
What Types Of Cyber Attacks Present The Biggest Threat To SMBs?
Now, let’s take a look at some specifics. There are many types of attacks, and it seems that new ones are being invented all the time. However, certain types of attacks are more likely to be used in a case like this. Let’s take a look at the three most common ones, shall we?
APT stands for “advanced persistent threat,” and the name is appropriate. This method is used by attackers who have the patience to plan their attacks carefully. Before going on the offensive, they will first go on a campaign of information-gathering. An APT is one of the ways to do this, and it seems to be one of the most pervasive.
This kind of threat installs itself on your computer and stays there for a long time. It doesn’t draw attention to itself by causing any major problems, as that would defeat its purpose. Most of the time, APT malware won’t pose any direct threat, but it can be used to gather the information that is used for some later attack.
Phishing is the most common type of hacking, as it can bypass most of the common defensive methods that would normally prevent malware from taking hold. It can do this by using human stupidity and gullibility. That might be a harsh way to put it, but this is a harsh fact of life. If you do something stupid, or if you allow yourself to be gullible, the phishers will get you every time.
Phishing, also called spoofing, works through impersonation. By impersonating something trusted and legitimate, the hacker tricks you into clicking on a link or taking some other action. Once you do this, you have inadvertently given them access to your computer or your network.
DDOS (distributed denial of service) attacks are most often used to shut down a website. This is actually not that big of a problem, at least not when compared to most other hacks. All data on the internet consists of network packets that are constantly being exchanged between all computers on a given network. Each of these packets contains a header that tells the internet where it came from, and where it is going. That information will include the IP address of the sender.
By spoofing the headers, and using a network of bots, hackers can bombard a site with so much traffic that it will have to shut down. Thankfully, these are usually temporary problems.
While this brief introduction should be helpful to you, we would encourage you to do some research and learn a little more about the many types of threats out there. There is no way to cover all of them here, so don’t expect us to do all the work for you! Still, we hope our work has given you new insight into this matter and that you will be better prepared as a result. If so, please show your appreciation by filling out the contact form.