McAfee Finds Cyberattacks Against Small Businesses are on the Rise

McAfee Finds Cyberattacks Against Small Businesses are on the Rise

By Tracey E. Schelmetic

While large enterprises have been taking cybersecurity seriously for decades, smaller companies haven’t always made the best efforts they could. Cost issues aside, their reasoning was that small businesses aren’t a target for hackers and other cybercriminals. Multiple studies, however, have found that this is not the case.

Cybersecurity giant McAfee recently announced findings from its Global Small Business Study which surveyed the owners and IT decision makers at small businesses across six countries to discover their thoughts and behavior around cybersecurity. The survey reflects the answers of 700 business owners and IT professionals from the U.S., UK, Germany, France, Japan and Australia.

McAfee’s research found that cyberattacks are on the rise, as 44 percent of small businesses have experienced a cyberattack, and 17 percent have experienced more than one. For 67 percent of the organizations that experienced a cyberattack, the incident occurred in the last two years, indicating that the threat of cybercrime has become more prevalent.

The report, which was conducted in conjunction with Dell, found that smaller businesses are taking the issue more seriously. Cybersecurity is now one of the greatest concerns of small businesses globally, with 73 percent of organizations saying it is one of their biggest risks or vulnerabilities.

For a small business, even a single cyber incident can be devastating to the bottom line. For small business owners who experienced a cyberattack, 61 percent lost more than $10,000 dealing with the attack. In addition, more than half (60 percent) of the business owners and IT decision makers indicated that the cyberattack on their business took a physical or mental toll on them and/or their staff or colleagues. In 58 percent of the cases, the business lost more than a week of valuable time dealing with IT issues due to the attack.

In its announcement, McAfee noted that cyber criminals are increasingly using AI to create ever more sophisticated attacks, and that to help reduce AI-related concerns and anxieties about data security, small business owners need AI to beat AI.

Edited by Greg Tavarez
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