Average Small Business Sites Attacked Dozens of Times a Day

Just as computers, phones, and even cars are getting smarter, so are cyber criminals. In recent years there have been a number of high-profile data breaches that have helped to drive home the importance of cybersecurity. Unfortunately the targets of these attacks aren’t always large corporations but are often times small businesses. Moreover, while they might not always be successful, malicious attempts to access site data can happen dozens of times a day.

According to a new study by Sitelock and reported on by the Washington Post, the average small business website is placed under siege 44 times a day. This stat comes after the firm studied more than six million websites in the last quarter of 2017 in an effort to look for cyberattack tactics. The majority  of these attacks are being performed by bots. In fact Sitelock found that software bots visited the studied sites more than 152 million times a week.

As disturbing as those figures are, it gets worse. Sitelock also found that 46% of WordPress sites that were infected with malware had been up to date with the latest security updates. Understandably WordPress sites are a major target for bots as the platform now powers approximately 30% of all Internet sites. The report explains what makes WordPress small business sites vulnerable, saying, “Leaving a single unpatched application, theme, or plugin could result in dozens of openings for attackers to exploit. Without proper security in place, these vulnerabilities can be exploited, resulting in blacklisting and damaged website reputation.”

Of course the other part of the equation is that small business may not be as well equipped to handle cyberattacks as larger firms might be. As computer science professor Engin Kirda told the site TechRepublic, “Small and medium-size businesses typically have fewer resources (e.g., money as well as knowledgeable people) to secure their IT infrastructure as well as maintain a good backup strategy. Hence, whenever a ransomware attack happens, they often end up having to pay the ransom to rescue their data.”

While many small businesses might not be able to afford the security needed to prevent cyberattacks, there are still some basic steps they can take toward protecting themselves. For example just upping your password security can go a long way in the fight against cybercrime. Additionally always be sure to stay up to date with the latest patches and updates for your site — even if this study shows that’s not always 100% effective. In a world where bots and cyberattacks are now a multi-daily occurrence, it’s up to small business owners to be proactive and fight back against these hackers.

I try to keep minimal plugins on my WP sites so that it’s easier to keep up with the updates and patches. Using Login Lockdown and Wordfence also seems to have helped a lot.

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Jonathan Dyer

I'm a small town guy living in Los Angeles looking to make solid financial decisions. I write for a number of finance websites, including HuffingtonPost and Business2Community. I founded DyerNews.com in 2015 to focus on personal finance and the emerging FinTech markets.

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