Over the last few years, the number of cyber attacks threatening small businesses has increased. Small businesses are a favorite target and your business is at risk whether you are answering email, operating the point of sale system, storing files or managing your website.

Most recently, hackers have been focused on stealing money directly from small businesses. These cyber criminals use tricks to commit cyber fraud and drain your bank account. Others are using schemes to lock up your computer, hold your files hostage and demand a ransom fee to return them.

Your small business can pay a heavy price for becoming a target of one of these scams. According to FBI statistics, hackers have been able to steal billions of dollars over the last few years using these tactics.

To avoid becoming another statistic, it’s important to educate yourself about the cyber attacks threatening small businesses and learn what actions you can take to protect your business.

About Social Engineering Fraud

Social engineering fraud is one of the most common cyber attacks against smaller businesses. These crimes involve tricking a person into revealing payment credentials that can be used to steal from an organization.

Often, the hacker impersonates a senior manager, owner, vendor or other VIP through an email directed at a more junior employee. The hacker asks for help completing an urgent online business transaction or wire transfer. With the junior employee’s help, the hacker can quickly steal the business funds and disappear.

Social engineering fraud relies on establishing trust with someone at your business under false pretenses. The fraudster asks for help and the request is always urgent. The person being impersonated is almost always someone in high authority that the junior employee respects and wants to impress.

To prevent social engineering fraud at your small business, the right employee training and security safeguards are key:

  • Train employees on social engineering fraud risk.
  • Control access to payment and transfer details.
  • Never share confidential information over phone or email.
  • Verify customer or vendor information for change requests.
  • Always call ahead before making any large transfers.
  • Double-check account numbers before you hit send.
  • Report any suspicious emails or phone calls to upper management.

Protecting Your Business from Cyber Attacks Threatening Small Businesses

It’s important to protect your business from the threat of these cyber attacks. Otherwise, a social engineering fraud or ransomware attack may one day devastate your business and drain your bank account. Yet even with the right protections in place, a hacker may one day get through.

Cyber liability insurance coverage can help minimize your exposure, cover costs, and recover more quickly. Through Lockton Affinity’s Wellbiz Insurance Program, you have access to cyber liability protection.

This coverage provides insurance to small businesses to protect you from the costs associated with cyber crime, including social engineering fraud, phishing scams and ransomware—plus coverage for data breach, business interruption, legal costs and more. Contact Lockton Affinity to learn more.