Small businesses with less than 50 employees can be a prime target for cybercriminals because of the data they hold for clients and employees. Photo: EPA

DURBAN – Small businesses with less than 50 employees can be a prime target for cybercriminals because of the data they hold for clients and employees. 

The data can fetch a high price if sold or ransomed and can open up new revenue streams for enterprising criminals. 

Besides the risk of cybersecurity disruption, a study from Kaspersky Lab has shown that small businesses are also at risk because of their reliance on staff who are inexperienced at cybersecurity. 

One-in-three small businesses entrust IT security to employees, who might not have the know-how necessary to protect businesses from prolific threats. 

Studying threats to small businesses in more detail, the Kaspersky Lab report sheds light on how ransomware is impacting them. The findings showing that when these firms fall prey to ransomware, they tend to be victimised again and again. 

Small businesses that have suffered an incident in the past 12 months, many have fallen victim to multiple incidents with 37 percent having experienced two or three infections.

This can have a crippling effect on a business, because suffering downtime or a lack of access to files for prolonged periods can be extremely damaging. In fact, of the ransomware victims surveyed, over a quarter (27 percent) have lost access to their data for weeks. 

Sergey Martsynkyan, head of B2B Product Marketing at Kaspersky Lab said, “Ransomware is one of the many very serious cyber threats faced by businesses today. When it strikes, it can have huge ramifications, no matter what size the business is. However, very small firms are particularly vulnerable to multiple incidents". 

Small businesses can protect themselves better, despite their lack of IT personnel, with security solutions designed specifically with this sized organisation in mind. 

BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE