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Don‘t Let Your Small Business Get Hacked – Essential Cybersecurity Stats for 2023

Cyberattacks on small and medium businesses are absolutely rampant these days. You can‘t afford to ignore the risks – a breach could destroy your company!

Let‘s look at the key small business cybersecurity statistics you need to know in 2023 so you can make smart security decisions. I‘ll also share actionable tips to help protect your organization. Shielding your SMB starts with understanding the threats.

SMBs Are Irresistible Targets

Make no mistake – hackers specifically target small businesses now. You‘re just as much at risk as a Fortune 500 company!

  • 61% of SMBs suffered a cyber attack in 2021, up from 44% in 2020 (Verizon 2022 Data Breach Investigations Report)
  • 43% of all data breaches happen at small businesses – nearly as much as mid-size (37%) and enterprise (18%) combined! (Accenture)
  • 37% of successful ransomware attacks were on small businesses with less than 100 employees. (Verizon 2022 DBIR)

The reason is simple – SMBs often have weaker security measures in place compared to large enterprises. You also probably don‘t have a fully staffed IT security team monitoring things around the clock.

For hackers, you‘re an easy and lucrative target. By stealing data from multiple SMBs, cybercriminals can acquire just as much valuable information as hacking one giant corporation!

Don‘t think you‘re too small to be a target. The risks are real regardless of your size.

Top Threat Vectors

Now, what specific dangers should you watch for? Here are the most common cyber threats facing SMBs:

  • Phishing: 17% of attacks. Phishing uses fake emails, sites, and messages to trick staff into giving up credentials. Once inside your systems, hackers install malware, steal data, and more. (Verizon 2022 DBIR)
  • Malware: 18% of attacks. Malware is software secretly installed on devices to harvest data, mine cryptocurrency using your resources, hold systems for ransom, and spy on your activity. (Verizon 2022 DBIR)
  • Ransomware: 10% of attacks, with 37% directly targeting SMBs. This malicious software locks your systems until you pay a ransom to get restored access. Even if you pay, hackers may still steal your data! (Verizon 2022 DBIR)
  • Website Hacks: 16% of attacks. Cybercriminals break into poorly secured websites to extract data or install malware. Stolen databases are sold online. Sites can be defaced, destroyed, or held ransom. (Verizon 2022 DBIR)
  • DDoS Attacks: 15% of attacks. Hackers overload your web servers with junk traffic, making your website and systems crash. This causes extended outages, preventing you from serving customers. (Verizon 2022 DBIR)

These five vectors make up most successful attacks. But many other methods like SQL injection, Wi-Fi hacking, supply chain infiltration, and insider actions also put SMBs at risk.

Massive Fallout From Breaches

You absolutely cannot ignore or downplay the potential impact of a breach. Just look at these horrifying statistics:

  • 60% of SMBs go out of business within 6 months of a cyberattack. The costs of recovery combined with reputational damage are simply too much to weather. (National Cyber Security Alliance)
  • 25% of SMBs lost funds directly due to cybercrime. Hackers steal money from bank accounts, accounts receivable, and more. (Verizon 2022 DBIR)
  • 40% of SMBs lost essential data from a breach, severely interrupting business operations. (Bullguard)
  • 55% of customers stop doing business with a company after a breach, destroying revenue streams. (Verizon 2022 DBIR)

Cyber incidents can quite literally destroy your livelihood. This threat has to be taken seriously if you want your organization to survive and thrive.

Too Many Businesses Remain at Risk

In light of all these alarms, you‘d think every SMB would take action to lock down their security. But many still operate with no protections whatsoever:

  • 51% of SMBs have zero cybersecurity measures deployed right now. That leaves them totally exposed. (
  • Only 42% of small businesses have fully implemented cybersecurity defenses like antivirus, firewalls, secure remote access protocols, and insider threat protections. (

That means millions of SMBs continue using outdated software, lack basic protections like multi-factor authentication and endpoint detection, and have employees untrained to spot cyber risks.

These businesses are almost guaranteed to suffer a devastating breach in 2023. You clearly can‘t afford to be in that group – the stakes are too high.

Top Tactics to Secure Your SMB

So what can you do right now to lock down your cyber defenses? Here are powerful moves that every small business should implement:

  • Enable MFA across all devices, accounts, VPNs, email, and more. This requires users to prove identity using another factor like biometrics or one-time codes along with passwords.
  • Install and update endpoint protection on all computers and servers to block malware, scripts, and anomalous behavior. Use a cloud-managed solution for centralized control.
  • Back up data regularly to secured external sources not connected full-time to your network. Test restores to ensure viability.
  • Install a business-class firewall to block unauthorized inbound and outbound traffic. Maintain tight rule sets.
  • Implement a password manager that generates and stores strong, randomized passwords for all employees. Enforce complex passphrase policies across the business.
  • Conduct cybersecurity training to teach employees how to spot and resist phishing attempts, social engineering, unsafe web use, weak passwords, unauthorized access, and more. Set up ongoing education.
  • Monitor network traffic for signs of unauthorized connections, inbound attacks, and data exfiltration attempts.
  • Test defenses via controlled penetration testing to find and fix gaps before criminals do. Conduct tests at least annually.
  • Standardize vendor risk management with cybersecurity assessments for all third-party partners like suppliers, CaaS tools, contractors. Hold them to your security requirements with contractual obligations.
  • Maintain incident response plans so you can quickly contain, investigate, and recover from any breach. Know who to call, what tools to use, how to communicate with customers, regulators, and the press.

This covers the essentials of what every SMB needs to start locking down their organization in 2023. There are obviously more advanced tactics to layer on as you mature your cyber defenses over time.

But don‘t let complexity or budget concerns put you off – a basic defense-in-depth strategy using these smart tactics will thwart most common attacks. Protect your business this year!

Key Takeaways

  • SMBs face skyrocketing cyber risks on par with large enterprises
  • Top threats include phishing, malware, ransomware, hacking, and DDoS
  • Breaches often lead to disastrous costs – 60% of SMBs close post-attack
  • 51% of small businesses still have no cybersecurity measures in place
  • Multi-layered solutions like MFA, backups, firewalls, and staff training can lock down SMBs against common attacks

I know it can feel daunting or overlwhelming to secure your organization. But with the right strategic approach, you can implement affordable and effective protections tailored for SMBs. Reach out if you need any guidance getting started – I‘m always happy to help fellow business owners boost their cyber defenses! Stay safe out there.



Michael Reddy is a tech enthusiast, entertainment buff, and avid traveler who loves exploring Linux and sharing unique insights with readers.