What Type of Organizations Do Hackers Target the Most?

From the controversial identity leaks at Ashley Madison to the show-stopping data hack at Sony, the media has been awash with news about cybersecurity breaches from high-profile companies over the past few years.

With all the reports of hacker activity, you have to wonder, is your business at risk? What types of organizations do hackers target most? And what can you do to ensure your company's most valuable assets are protected?

We will examine the types of organizations cyber predators typically target and why a cybersecurity policy is vital to your company's longevity.

Who Is a Target?

Just to be clear, any individual or company that uses the internet can be a target for cybercriminals; which is why it is so important to understand cybersecurity policy and how breaches can affect your company, your customers and your employees. Below are some of the most commonly targeted organizations.

Financial Institutions: It may seem obvious, but hackers often target financial institutions in hopes of exposing personal information, such as Social Security numbers, or gaining fraudulent access to financial services, such as credit cards.

Savvy hackers can find any number of ins to a customer's private profile. Phishing scams, for example, lure consumers into sharing their personal sign in via fraudulent sign-in pages. Other times hackers simply use a lost or stolen phone to gain access to an otherwise secure account.

Of course, masquerading as a legitimate user isn't the only way hackers can pilfer information. In 2015, Dow Jones, Experian and Scottrade all fell prey to hackers.

Online Retailers: Online retailers often store a trove of credit card numbers.

Hackers often gain access to a customer's card, order thousands of dollars' worth of merchandise and abandon the card once it hits its credit limit. This technique can be very destructive for a customer's finances and a huge expense for retailers.

A major security breach in 2013 cost Target millions, not to mention a loss of customer confidence.

Political Organizations: Not all hackers are looking for a payday. Sometimes hacking is meant to reveal classified information or block public access to website in order to protest or effect change. Hacktivism, a portmanteau of hacker and activism, has recently gained widespread news coverage following 2016 Democratic National Committee email leak.

Small and Medium Businesses:

Don't let the media give you the wrong impression. Hacking risks aren't just for the big boys. Perhaps the scariest statistic out there reveals that roughly half of all small business have been hit by a cyberattack. Did you know that over 43% of small businesses suffered cyberattacks in 2015? The average loss per business was $180,000!

Small and medium business are the top target for cyberattacks. Unlike large corporations who have the money and resources to pay for cybersecurity and upgrade their network match the latest hacker tricks, small businesses do not have that same luxury" and hackers know it.

Protecting Your Organization:

What steps can be taken to protect your SMB?

  1. Create a security review team to examine your current policies. What's working? What could be better?
  2. Think like a hacker. If you were trying to expose your company's most valuable assets, where would you start? Identify your weakest link and work hard to strengthen it.
  3. Reexamine your software and hardware vulnerabilities − including outdated browser add-ons and Trojan programs. This is low-hanging fruit for hackers and all too easy to exploit.
  4. Train your employees to understand and follow cybersecurity best practices − most cybersecurity breaches are due to employee negligence.
  5. Invest in a cybersecurity policy. Cybersecurity insurance can protect your company from the fallout of an attack, including disruption of business.

Cybersecurity policy insurance is more than just coverage for SMBs. It is a vital safeguard to protect your business from extortion and financial ruin. Get the protection your business needs against cybersecurity risks with CyberPolicy.

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