I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there have been a LOT of cyber-attacks in the news lately. It seems like we can’t go 2 weeks without some high profile hack happening. But despite these all being aimed at big businesses, the frequency has started to get smaller business owners concerned. But the good news is, while some smaller businesses might still be at risk of attack, there are certain industries that find themselves more vulnerable than others. This might not sound like good news, but it does mean that if you are one of those businesses, you can take steps to ensure your business is fully protected. So which types of business are more vulnerable to cyber attack?
Hotels And Hospitality
The hotel industry has always been a veritable gold mine of data for hackers who want to sell information on the black market, or get hold of some high value credit card information fast. Hotels handle a huge amount of transactional data every single day, They also tend to use third party software to handle their reservations and bookings, which means hackers don’t even have to target the hotel itself – they just need to infiltrate the third party software instead.
Even small businesses can handle decent amounts of money, or valuable data – and some of them don’t even know it. But the problem with small businesses is that they can rarely afford the resources and protections they need to keep the business safe. One man bands are particularly prone to this, thinking that keeping their data on one machine in their home will be enough to protect it – or worse not thinking about it at all.
This one really is unsurprising. Financial services businesses of any kind, even small asset finance outfits, will handle some of the most valuable data out there. While they might not realise it, their bank balance isn’t usually what the hackers are after – it’s their customer data. That data includes names, banks, account information and much, much more. All of this information will fetch a small fortune when sold on the information black market, and criminals make a habit of targeting the financial institutions it’s held in.
Healthcare businesses of any size are an attractive target to cyber criminals, but not usually for financial gain. Instead, cyber security experts claim that the root of attacks on healthcare institutions lies in the wealth of patient data they hold. Cyber criminals aren’t always looking for money after all, sometimes they may wish to steal someone’s identity instead. And healthcare records contain a huge amount of personal information, like national insurance numbers for example, that could be tricky to find elsewhere.
Manufacturing is an interesting one, as it doesn’t tend to hold huge amounts of financial or personal data. Instead, the reason for targeting these is often to disrupt the manufacturing process and cause harm to a brand or business that way. It isn’t always the manufacturing firm that’s the end target either – but if that firm has a big contract for the target, cutting off their product supply by interfering with the manufacturing firm is a good way to ensure problems.
The important thing to remember is that, as a small business owner, you are one of the target markets for the budding cyber-criminal. Now more than ever, proper investment in robust cyber security is essential. But cyber-criminals don’t just get in through cyber doors. They also gather the information they need to infiltrate your business through physical means, and that means you need to be careful with your paperwork too. For more information, or to find out how we can help your business be more secure, get in touch today.