In this post, we will discuss how often does cyber crime happen. As an advisor to small business owners on technology and security, I often get asked how frequently cyberattacks actually occur. Many entrepreneurs mistakenly believe that cybercrime is rare or mainly targets major corporations.
The hard truth is that cybercrime has become an epidemic impacting businesses of all sizes at an astonishing rate. As remote work and cloud usage continue rising, attack vulnerability has dramatically increased across the board. Small companies with more limited security resources have become prime targets.
Cybercrime Strikes Every 39 Seconds
Recent research shows that a staggering 2,244 cybercrimes are now committed daily – that‘s approximately one cyber attack every 39 seconds. To put this into perspective, during the 10 minutes you might spend reading this article, over 150 cybercrimes will have taken place globally.
The table below summarizes the most prevalent types of cybercrime and their frequency:
|% of Attacks
|One attack every 1 minute 44 seconds
|One attack every 2 minutes 33 seconds
|One attack every 3 minutes 38 seconds
|One attack every 5 minutes 50 seconds
|One attack every 11 minutes 40 seconds
[Statistics source: 2023 Cybercrime Statistics]
With attacks happening multiple times a minute, no company can afford to ignore the threat of cybercrime regardless of size or industry.
Surging Cyber Attacks in Remote Work Era
The ascent of remote and hybrid approaches has dramatically expanded the cybercrime attack surface. Employee devices and home networks tend to lack enterprise-grade security controls allowing cybercriminals easy access to corporate systems. Verizon‘s 2023 Data Breach Report found that 85% of breaches involved the human element highlighting social engineering and phishing vulnerabilities.
Cloud adoption has concurrently risen with a McKinsey study noting that companies accelerated their cloud plans by a shocking seven years due to COVID-19. But misconfigurations and mistakes in cloud management Enable over 30% of successful data breaches. The broad digital transformation has provided cyberattackers with more weaknesses to exploit than ever before.
Why Cybercriminals Increasingly Target Small Business
The number one question I get asked by entrepreneurs and small business owners is, "why would hackers target my company when there are much bigger fish to fry?" It‘s an understandable question given limited resources, but small companies have unfortunately emerged as prime targets:
- Lower Security Investment – SMBs dedicate substantially fewer dollars to cybersecurity controls than enterprises leaving obvious gaps. Attackers recognize this increased vulnerability.
- Access to Bigger Fish – Small companies frequently partner and share data with larger downstream suppliers and vendors. By intruding smaller vendor systems, attackers can progress towards bigger ultimate targets.
- Underappreciated Data Value – Although small companies don‘t control vast sums of data, they often hold sensitive customer, financial, and intellectual property information that cybercriminals can directly monetize or sell.
While cybercriminals cast a wide net scanning for vulnerabilities, SMBs must prioritize data and system protection. Implementing strong technical controls and regular employee cybersecurity training are crucial starting points. Feel free to schedule a consultation if you want to discuss securing your small business further.