Back in the 1930s when legendary gangster John Dillinger was asked why he robbed banks, he responded, “Because that’s where the money is.” That same reasoning goes a long way towards explaining why small businesses are a favorite target of hackers and purveyors of malware.

Consider:

  • The Small Business Administration says the U.S. now has more than 30 million small businesses
  • SMBs are responsible for more than half of the $21 trillion economy.
  • Put another way, small businesses in the United States would constitute the world’s third-largest economy all by themselves
  • SMBs provide the livelihood for more than 100 million Americans
  • SMBs are responsible for 55% of business innovation, making them ripe targets for theft of intellectual property.

What else do small businesses have in common? They’re small. They have to do more with less, and with fewer employees. SMB owners wear many different hats, and that means that IT, cybersecurity and employee training often get pushed down the to-do list, making a big target even easier for hackers and phishers to hit.

Here’s what we know from experience: It’s much more costly and time-consuming to recover from phishing, ransomware and other cyber attacks than to prevent them in the first place.

If you’re running a small business, don’t be a big target.