Small businesses with less than 50 employees can be a lucrative proposition for cybercriminals because of the data they hold on behalf of their clients and employees.
This can fetch a high price if sold or ransomed and can open up new revenue streams for enterprising criminals.
Besides the constant risk of cybersecurity disruption, a study from Kaspersky Lab has revealed that small businesses are also at risk because of their reliance on staff who are inexperienced at cybersecurity.
One-in-three firms this size entrust IT security to employees, who might not have the know-how necessary to protect businesses from prolific threats.
The Kaspersky Lab report sheds light on how ransomware is impacting them — with findings showing that when these firms fall prey to ransomware, they tend to be victimised again and again.
Indeed, out of those small businesses that have suffered an incident in the past 12 months, many have fallen victim to multiple incidents – with 37% 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.
Out of the ransomware victims surveyed, over a quarter (27%) have lost access to their data for weeks, meaning this issue is constantly putting small firms at risk of inactivity, and therefore loss of income and reputational damage.
Small businesses that are not cybersecurity-savvy are also more likely to pay the ransom requested as soon as possible to try to minimise downtime without knowing if the attacker legitimately has the ability or the intention to restore their business-critical data.
Kaspersky Lab B2B product marketing head Sergey Martsynkyan says, “Ransomware is one of the 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.
“One of the reasons for this may be that at many small businesses, the IT provision is managed by people that perhaps don’t know how to best avert the dangers – they simply don’t have the time or IT skills to cope with the threats”.
There are solutions in the market that can help businesses to protect themselves from the risk of ransomware and more.