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The FBI is worried that as more large businesses and corporations invest in cyber security tools, hackers are increasingly targeting small and medium-sized businesses.
In 2021, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center received 847,376 complaints from the American public regarding cyberattacks and malicious cyber activity, a 7% year-over-year increase. In total, potential losses from those attacks exceed $6.9 billion, a 64% increase compared to the previous year.
Sixty-one percent of small business owners polled in the most recent quarterly survey said they were not concerned that their business will be the victim of a cyber-attack in the next 12 months, up from 58% last year. Only 4% of small business owners said that cyber security was the biggest risk facing their business, while 64% said they were confident that they could quickly resolve a cyber-attack, according to a CNBC business survey.
“A lot of the cyber-attacks that we have witnessed from our investigations, almost all of them could have been prevented by doing very basic cyber hygiene,” said FBI Supervisory Special Agent Michael Sohn. Going beyond a password manager, told Sohn, small business owners must ensure they’re relying on a good technology-based backbone. Furthermore, Sohn stated that it’s important to make sure that your data is encrypted and backed up offline “so you could access it even if the criminals steal it and take it away.”
And of course, if you receive an email from a colleague, client, or vendor about deals or asking for money where something doesn’t feel right or you are suspicious, Sohn said that should be a reason for concern.
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