Why would anyone attack us?
We don’t have anything that anybody would want. Nothing we have is of value. These are all things that we hear quite often from small business owners who are starting to think about the whole cyber security issue.
And the best way of thinking about this is to understand that this is an attack of opportunity.
So, in other words, it’s the difference between an attack like you might picture in Ocean’s 8 or Ocean’s 11 or one of those shows where a group of thieves has picked the target, and they’re carefully planning out for weeks and months exactly how they’re going to get in and execute the particular attack.
Set that aside. What these attacks are is they’re much more like thieves walking through a crowded parking lot and trying door handles and looking to see what’s on the seat inside one of the vehicles and if they can easily do a quick smashing grab or have the opportunity to just lift the handle and somebody left it unlocked.
So, that’s the situation of what we’re dealing with: is this isn’t a targeted attack, it’s an attack of opportunity. So the reason that they are interested in you is because purely financial reasons. 95% of all attacks are perpetrated solely for financial reasons.
The other five percent are some of the cyber warfare things that you might hear of, such as Russia and Ukraine that’s been going on. Some of them are “hacktivisms,” which is a lot of what’s been going on of people fighting back against some of the gangs that have been involved in cyber warfare. But the rest of them— the 95%— all have to do with just trying to make money.
And they attack you because you have things that you care about.
If you didn’t care about the data, you wouldn’t spend all the time and money storing it and backing it up, and it’s important to you. It’s important to your business. But even more so, it’s important to your employees, to your customers, to your vendors, and to your reputation because that’s all information that’s been entrusted to you.
So, they will use various schemes once they get a hold of it or get it into the environment, and they’ll maybe lock it up and hold it ransom that you have to pay in order to get it released.
They might release it to the public on the dark web and have an extortion scheme, or there are a number of other ways that they might try to extract money from you from your insurance company, from your customers, from your vendors, from your employees, even to the degree of using the personal information that you have on your employees to open up new credit cards and bank accounts to take out loans in your employees’ names. All of those have been schemes.
So the reason that they attack you is because as a small business, you tend to be an easier target. Generally, small businesses historically have had less security in place to prevent this, and you have information that they can make a quick buck off of.
So that’s the story of why you are three and a half times more likely to get attacked than a large business.
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