Getting hacked is a traumatic experience for any business, but small companies have an additional worry: What if the hackers use you as a back door to an enterprise you work with, stealing not only your data but also that of your business partner?
If that were to happen, it could be a double whammy — hitting you in the pocketbook and creating a cascade of ill will that drives away current and potential partners, as well as customers.
The threat to small business is high. In a 2015 survey of small U.S. businesses by Nationwide insurance, 63 percent said they had been attacked at least once.
Many small businesses put up weak defenses because they don’t realize their potential value. In a survey by U.K. insurer Towergate, 82 percent of small business owners believed they were safe from a cyberattack because they didn’t have anything worth stealing.
They couldn’t be more wrong. Hackers often go after small businesses to worm their way to more valuable targets, said David Burg, global and U.S. cybersecurity leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers.
“In modern business supply chains, a series of companies are connected to build a product or deliver a service,” Burg said. “When the little guy is compromised, the hacker goes up the supply chain to the client.”