Protect yourself: Small businesses are bigger targets for hackers

Data breaches are not only inconvenient for customers who have their information stolen, the recovery process can be long and expensive for business owners. As small and medium-sized enterprises become more reliant on computer systems and mobile devices, it is crucial for company leaders to remain diligent in updating security systems.

To that same extent, having a comprehensive technology insurance policy, that accounts for daily operations as well as the unexpected, can help a business stay open. As a recent CNNMoney article points out, more cyber criminals are turning to small companies to gain access to bank accounts and other private information.

The article cited a Verizon report, released last week, that said of the 621 data breaches the company recorded in 2012, close to half occurred at companies with fewer than 1,000 employees. Furthermore, there were 193 incidents that happened at organizations with less than 100 workers.

Vikram Thakur, Symantec's principal security response manager, explained to the news source that it's a huge mistake for companies to assume that they're invulnerable because they are "too boring" for cyber criminals.

"Small businesses retain very valuable information for hackers, like customers' credit card numbers, intellectual property and money in the bank," he said. "Small companies are lucrative victims, too. That's making the target on their back even bigger."

Symantec conducted its own study, which found that companies with less than 250 employees represented 31 percent of all cyber attacks last year. In 2011, those businesses accounted for just 18 percent of data breaches.

Even if small and medium-sized business owners think that their company is too niche, or too small for a criminal, it is beneficial to work with commercial insurance specialists. That way, the right policy can be found and put in place, ahead of any possible security issue.




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