Sophos Report: SMBs Are Targets For Cybercriminals

Sophos 2024 Report

The Sophos 2024 Threat Report sheds light on the alarming challenges small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) face. Contrary to popular belief, SMBs are prime targets for cybercriminals, bearing the brunt of attacks with potentially devastating impacts.  Notably, more than 75% of Sophos’ incident responses in 2023 involved SMBs, highlighting an urgent need for a deliberate cybersecurity strategy within this sector. In this blog we’ll cover some of our biggest takeaways from this report and why they’re relevant for your business.

SMBs Are Feeling the Biggest Impact

Why are SMBs such appealing targets for cybercriminals? Sophos boils it down to three main vulnerabilities:

  • Limited access to experienced security personnel
  • Inadequate cybersecurity investment
  • Constrained IT budgets and infrastructure

This situation effectively rolls out the red carpet for cybercriminals, exposing SMBs to severe risks. The harsh truth is that SMBs typically find it harder to rebound from cyberattacks compared to their larger counterparts, largely due to the lack of robust defenses and a comprehensive recovery strategy.

It All Comes Down to Data

SMBs are particularly vulnerable when it comes to safeguarding data. Over 90% of cyberattacks reported involve some form of data or credential theft. This emphasizes the attackers’ primary goal: to exploit valuable information for unauthorized access, ransom, or theft. The rise of Malware as a Service (MaaS) signifies a lowering barrier for cybercriminal entry, enabling even those with minimal technical skills to launch advanced attacks.

Ransomware: The Biggest Threat to Your SMB

Ransomware, particularly through services like LockBit, stands as the most significant malware threat to SMBs. It encrypts files to render them inaccessible, then demands a ransom in cryptocurrency for decryption. Notably, these attacks have evolved to leverage remote encryption, targeting unprotected servers and devices within networks, exacerbating the challenge for SMBs.

Business Email Compromise: A Growing Concern

Cybercriminals are increasingly exploiting human elements within organizations through business email compromise (BEC). This tactic involves hijacking email accounts to conduct fraud or other malicious activities, becoming a significant issue for SMBs. The use of stolen credentials for BEC underscores the sophistication of these scams, which often commence with phishing.

Phishing Attacks: Increasing in Sophistication

Cybercriminals are getting smarter. It’s not just single out of the blue emails anymore. Phishing attempts are now coming as email threads, making them appear even more legitimate. The first email might seem conversational and then the follow up email will try to get you to take a compromising action.

Device Connection Policies: Essential for Mitigation

To mitigate these risks, strict security policies governing device connections are crucial. Implementing network access control (NAC) solutions ensures that only compliant devices can access the network, significantly reducing the vulnerability posed by unprotected devices.

Protecting Your Business

The cybersecurity landscape might seem bleak, but protecting your business is not a lost cause. Recommendations from Sophos include:

  • Educate staff on cybersecurity threats
  • Implement multifactor authentication
  • Regularly update and patch systems
  • Engage in continuous monitoring and incident response

Turning Insight into Action

The cybersecurity landscape may seem intimidating, but preparation and understanding can significantly mitigate risks. A proactive stance on cybersecurity is more effective than a reactive one. For more detailed insights, read the full report. Just Solutions is here to assist, offering network assessments and guidance to bolster your defenses. Don’t let fear hinder your business operations. With the right measures, you can confidently protect your company and customer data.