Symantec: Targeted Attacks on Small Businesses Increased Three-Fold in 2012

Paul Lilly

Small business owners are viewed as easy targets among cybercriminals.

Symantec on Monday published its 2013 Internet Security Threat Report, Volume 18, which provides an overview and analysis of the past year in global threat activity. One of the things Symantec noticed was that cybercriminals are paying more attention to small businesses with fewer than 250 employees. Targeted attacks against these organizations jumped 31 percent in 2012 compared to the year before.

"While small businesses may feel they are immune to targeted attacks, cybercriminals are enticed by these organizations' bank account information, customer data, intellectual property, and the knowledge that they often lack adequate security practices and infrastructures," Symantec says .

It's not just small business owners who need to be on top of their game. Symantec notes in its report that "threats to online security have grown and evolved considerably in 2012," adding that it's "seen constant innovation from malware authors." Overall Symantec noted a 42 percent increase in targeted attacks, 5,291 new vulnerabilities, and an average of 604,826 identities exposed per breach in 2012, to rattle off just a few of the stats.

For more on the topic, grab a PDF reader and comb through Symantec's more than 50 pages of a data contained in its report .

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