Small businesses face hacking threat

Targeted attacks on businesses with fewer than 250 employees are growing. (AFP)

Targeted attacks on businesses with fewer than 250 employees are growing. (AFP)

Targeted attacks are increasingly hitting the manufacturing sector and small businesses.

"This year’s Internet Security Threat Report shows that cybercriminals aren’t slowing down, and they continue to devise new ways to steal information from organisations of all sizes,” said Sheldon Hand, territory manager, Indian Ocean Islands, West and Central Africa, Symantec.

“The sophistication of attacks, coupled with today’s IT complexities such as virtualisation, mobility and cloud, require organisations to remain proactive and use ‘defense in depth’ security measures to stay ahead of attacks.”

Key highlights include:

Small businesses are the path of least resistance
Targeted attacks on businesses with fewer than 250 employees are growing. Small businesses are now the target of 31% of all attacks, a threefold increase from 2011. While small businesses may feel they are immune to targeted attacks, cybercriminals are enticed by these organisations’ bank account information, customer data, intellectual property and the knowledge that they often lack adequate security practices and infrastructure. 

Manufacturing sector and knowledge workers become primary targets
Shifting from governments, manufacturing has moved to the top of the list of industries targeted for attacks in 2012.
Often by going after manufacturing companies in the supply chain, attackers gain access to sensitive information of a larger company. In addition, in 2012 the most commonly targeted victims of these types of attacks were knowledge workers (27%) with access to intellectual property and those in sales (24%). 

Mobile malware put consumers and businesses at risk
In 2012, mobile malware increased by 58%, and 32% of all mobile threats attempted to steal information, such as e-mail addresses and phone numbers. Android’s market share, its open platform and the multiple distribution methods available to distribute malicious apps, make it the go-to platform for attackers. – gadget.co.za

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