Why Hackers Target Small/Medium Businesses

While breaches at big corporations such as Target, BHP and banks make the headlines, small/medium business are still very much targets for hackers. Small/medium businesses fall into hackers’ cybersecurity “sweet spot.” They have more digital assets to target than an individual consumer has, but less security than a larger enterprise.

The other reason small/medium businesses make such appealing targets is because hackers know these companies are less careful about security. Small/medium businesses often underestimate their risk level, with 82 percent of these business owners saying they’re not targets for attacks, because they do not have anything worth stealing.

Is Cybercrime profitable?

The unfortunate reality is cybercrime is a low-risk, high return criminal enterprise. Much success comes from exploiting legitimate websites, including government run sites. From these websites hackers access a high volume of victims automatically. These constantly evolving illicit activities require effort to combat. Digital Force One, specialists in cyber security, take care of the ever changing dangers of our cyber world.

The global cybercrime market is a low-risk, high-return criminal enterprise, with goods and services in strong supply and demand. It can be highly lucrative, and commodities are easily accessible through online marketplaces and forums. Anyone aiming to make an illicit profit can purchase infrastructure, delivery mechanisms, coding services, antivirus checking services, exploit kits, communication services, and ‘cash out’ and money transfer services. Most elements of this criminal economy and their global business operations exist alongside the legitimate online activity of governments, businesses and individuals. The challenge lies in detecting the constantly evolving illicit activity, and determining its motivation, impact and mitigation strategies.
–Australian Cyber Security Center (ACSC) 2016 Threat Report

What is a hackers common entry point into my business?

Emails remain a popular entry technique for hackers. Digital Force One raise awareness and educate staff, mitigating a considerable portion of your current cybercrime risk.

Spear phishing – emails containing a malicious link or file attachment – remains a popular exploitation technique for many cyber adversaries, with methods used becoming more convincing and difficult to spot. As such, spear phishing emails continue to be a common exploitation technique used in the compromise of Australian industry networks.
–Australian Cyber Security Center (ACSC) 2016 Threat Report

How do hackers make money?

Hackers make money on the ‘Dark Web’ (also know as ‘Deep Web’ or ‘Darknet’). Using various techniques, communication and money transactions are anonymous and untraceable. Let Digital Force One mitigate your business cyber risks.

An environment such as cyberspace, where possible gains are high, the probability of capture is low and deniability rules, is a highly attractive medium for the whole range of threat actors. Nowhere is this exemplified more potently than in the ‘darknet’—a part of the ‘deep web’, where content isn’t accessible through traditional search engines such as Google and where access is anonymous and largely untraceable. In the darknet, trading in illicit goods and services in online black markets has become increasingly commonplace and exacerbates the problems that law enforcement already faces in tracing and prosecuting illegal activities online.
–Australian Strategic Policy Institute – International Cyber Policy Centre

The end of the beginning—the Silk Road take‑down

Although authorities make progress, the expanding cybercrime world is growing in sophistication and complexity at an alarming rate. Industry expects things to get worse over the coming year, at the very least! Now is the time to invest in cyber security.

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was celebrating the arrest of Ross Ulbricht (alias ‘Dread Pirate Roberts’) and the take-down of his online marketplace, Silk Road. He was believed to have amassed around US$80 million from Silk Road, where people bought a range of legal and illegal goods and data, such as drugs, ‘exploit’ software kits, credit card details and fake identification.
However, despite the taking down of Silk Road, the past year has produced a larger problem: a diversification of cryptomarkets that are expanding to meet the demand of an ever increasing clientele.
–Australian Strategic Policy Institute – International Cyber Policy Centre

Cybercrime Market

Ransomware makers not only make financial gains by using the malware themselves, ransomware is also advertised as a service on the dark web. This allows, even non-technical, criminals to profit and hold business to ransom! Prices found on the dark web range from $65 per day to $1000 per month for illicit ransomware usage (source:  TREND MICRO report).

Compromised websites and servers are a favorite means for distributing malware and launching attacks. Criminals can buy access to compromised sites through the dark web. Prices have been found to range from $3 to $25 per website.

Digital Force One thoroughly cover many aspects of cyber security mitigating risk to your business.


Specialising in Small/Medium Businesses

Making sure your computers and your entire life doesn't get hacked!