How Many Phishing Emails Target Small Businesses Daily?

As a fellow small business owner, I know how inundated our inboxes get on a daily basis. Among those hundreds of emails are cunning phishing attempts aiming to access our businesses‘ sensitive information. Just how prolific is this threat?

Recent research shows that over 3.4 billion phishing emails are sent globally every day. Of those, an estimated 12-15% specifically target small business owners, according to figures from anti-virus provider Norton. As an entrepreneur and local company leader, I‘ve seen these realistic-looking frauds firsthand.

Why Small Businesses Make Appealing Targets

Cybercriminals pursue small companies for three key reasons:

  1. Perceived security vulnerabilities
  2. Bank account and customer data access
  3. Pathway to larger partner organizations

They also take advantage knowing we often don‘t have IT teams monitoring for complex hacking strategies. Nonetheless, phishing puts customer information, company funds, and our reputations at risk.

Phishing Tactics Aimed at Entrepreneurs

The most common small business phishing tactics I see are:

  • Payment scams: Fake vendor invoices coming from “official” email addresses
  • Shipping notices: Tracking links actually download malware
  • IT alerts: Warnings your cloud account will close to trick logins

Others pose as customers requesting information to divert payments or steal identities. Without close inspection, these emails look convincingly real.

My Experience with Phishing Attempts

I recently received a seemingly legitimate payment request from a regular contractor of ours. But when I called to confirm, they had no record of sending it. Thankfully I avoided being scammed out of a $5,000 payment.

Other entrepreneurs I spoke with reported tax scams, fake logistics alerts, and breached vendor accounts. Each scheme aimed to leverage funds or data from unsuspecting business owners. It opened my eyes to how easily phishing threatens companies like ours.

How I Minimized Phishing Risk

After my close call, I implemented organization-wide phishing training. We learned how to:

  • Identify red flag timing, logos, signatures
  • Safely inspect links before clicking
  • Report suspected phishing attempts

This built company-wide vigilance sharply reducing our risk. Ongoing education ensures we don‘t let our guard down as tactics evolve.

Bottom Line

Staying ahead of the phishing epidemic starts with acknowledging our exposure as entrepreneurs. While daunting, the solutions can be simple, education-based, and tremendously effective through steady collective awareness. I hope these insights from my experience help fellow business owners protect themselves as threats mount. Consistent, human-based precaution remains our strongest safeguard.