Small Business Security Threats

Small Business Security ThreatsThe cybersecurity threat landscape continues to change at an exponential rate, and small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) often don’t have the time or budget to respond to changing attack vectors.

Malware is the greatest security threat to SMBs, but criminals gain access to networks and workstations to install malware through compromised credentials or phishing. Statistically, each employee of small businesses receives a phishing email once every three days. SMBs often don’t have the budget or don’t prioritize security awareness training for their employees, making them more susceptible to attack.

AI tools are making phishing emails much more convincing and targeted. Just two weeks ago, we covered WormGPT on the blog, a large language model marketed to hackers who need help writing malicious code or phishing emails. This week there is another competing malicious AI tool called FraudGPT made specifically for spear phishing emails and cracking passwords. As these criminal AI tools become more refined and prevalent, criminals will be able to automate the more time-consuming tasks in something like creating an extensive, targeted, and convincing phishing campaign. Gone are the days of spelling and grammatical errors in phishing emails. The next wave of generative AI phishing will target a user by name and use any publicly available information on that person to make the email more convincing.

Small businesses are targeted at a greater rate because criminals know their security is often dated and lacking. 43% of data breaches are targeted toward SMBs, and when they are successful, the damage is substantial. 60% of businesses that suffered a successful cyber-attack went out of business within six months of the attack. The National Cyber Security Alliance found that small businesses spent $690,000 on average recovering from an attack, and medium-sized businesses spent over $1 million. In the era of AI hacking tools, SMB cybersecurity and employee training is no longer optional in the business world.

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Posted by Charles Wright