Companies employing a few hundred people or less are easy to hack because they often use free or unlicensed software subject to manipulation by cyber criminals and canâ€™t afford to pay dedicated IT staff, according to the BBC.
Several surveys suggest more than 60 per cent of small companies suffered some form of successful malware attack in the last year. Security reports also show 20 per cent of small companies become concerned with their security after discovering a breach, while 10 per cent would not even know they had been hacked.
â€œThey may not think they have any data worth stealing but even the smallest company can be custodian to information that represents hard cash to criminal gangs,â€ writes BBCâ€™s contributor Prof. Alan Woodward. â€œWhen you realize that even basic security precautions will result in the majority of attacks â€˜bouncing offâ€™, you begin to understand they must be quite poorly prepared for the hackers to be so successful.â€
The Verizonâ€™s 2012 Data Breach Investigations Report also showed cyber criminals deliberately target small and medium businesses because lower security measures make them easier to breach. The preferred method for cyber criminals to steal records is inflicting DDoS attacks on a large number of small companies with minimum risks.