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17/04/2013 10:18pm

Small businesses more prone to cyber-attacks: Symantec report

image Small businesses more prone to cyber-attacks: Symantec report
New Delhi, Apr 17 (KNN) Small businesses are becoming more vulnerable to cyber-attacks due to their less sophisticated defence according to a new report from Symantec.

“Companies with 250 employees or less absorbed 18 per cent of targeted cyber-attacks in 2011, but the figure jumped to 31 per cent in 2012,” Symantec said in its Internet Security Threat Report 2013.

"While it can be argued that the rewards of attacking a small business are less than what can be gained from a large enterprise, this is more than compensated by the fact that many small companies are typically less careful in their cyber defences," the report said.

Overall cyber-attacks increased by 42 per cent during 2012 as compared to last year, added the report.

“Organizations between 251 employees to 2,500 were targeted 19 per cent of the time, with companies with more than 2,500 employees making up the remaining 50 per cent,” Symantec said. The company said it detected a 42 per cent increase overall in cyber-attacks in 2012 compared to 2011.

Symantec is an American global computer security software corporation

Cyber criminals primarily targeted employees in research and development and sales persons. Interestingly attackers targeted more of junior employees below the rank of executives rather than senior positions.

"This suggests that attackers are casting a wider net and targeting less senior positions below the executive level in order to gain access to companies," the report said.
Small businesses may have less cash on hand for hackers to steal, but the companies may have other data, such as customer information or intellectual property, that is valued by hackers.

The most attacked industry in 2012 was manufacturing, at 24 per cent. It was followed by finance, insurance and real estate companies at 19 per cent and by non-traditional services at 17 per cent, Symantec said.  (KNN)

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