Nearly Half of All Cyberattacks Are Aimed at Small Businesses

October 11, 2018, Written By Bill Hardekopf
Nearly Half of All Cyberattacks Are Aimed at Small Businesses

A new study analyzing cybersecurity threats in America discovered that 43% of online attacks are targeted at small businesses, and that number is projected to rise in the coming years.

The study by SCORE, a business mentorship organization, found the most prominent threats for small businesses were macro malware, online banking malware, and ransomware. Macro malware is sent through an email attachment. A macro virus is embedded into the file, and it attacks a person’s computer once the attachment is opened. The virus then attacks all other documents on the computer.

Of the 269 billion emails sent in 2017, 39% were spam. A large portion of those emails contained macro malware. Small businesses incurred 113,000 acts of macro malware last year. The best way to avoid macro viruses is by not opening attachments from unknown senders.

Online banking malware is designed to collect bank account login credentials. This may happen through a fake website or through a link included in a phishing email. Users think they are logging into the bank, but in reality, the hacker is collecting all the information for malicious use. Over 66,000 online banking attacks targeted small businesses last year. Businesses can reduce their risk by always typing in a bank’s direct web address before logging into a website.

Ransomware affected approximately 54,000 small businesses in 2017. Ransomware is a form of malware that gets downloaded from a compromised site or file. The ransomware locks the computer and demands a “ransom” to be paid to unlock it. The average cost of a ransom is $1,077, but businesses lose an average of $133,000 when downtime and recovery costs are factored in. Businesses can also avoid this by being mindful when downloading a file to their computer, especially from an unknown sender.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of October 11, 2018. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.

About Bill Hardekopf

Bill Hardekopf is the CEO of and covers the credit card industry from all perspectives. Bill has been involved with personal finance for over 15 years. He is a frequent contributor to Forbes, The Street and The Christian Science Monitor.
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