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Report: Small- and medium-sized businesses main targets of cybercriminals

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According to a recent Verizon report, while criminal cyber activity has increased recently, affecting companies as large as Sony and Apple, small- and medium-sized businesses are now the main target of internet thieves.

More cybercriminals are focusing their efforts on this sector, as they view these companies as low-risk, high-reward targets. Typical activity for cybercriminals involves launching a malware campaign that they hope results in an unsuspecting user clicking on an unsecured link or downloading a program. This allows the outside party to digitally enter and control a user's computer, providing access to valuable information.

Symantec's report in 2010 regarding small business protection discovered that cyberattacks cost them $188,242 on average.

These attacks are even more dangerous for companies considering the liability ramifications. Beyond the initial costs of fixing the hacked area, businesses must pay to provide notice to its customers and then for credit monitoring. Then, these companies may also incur secondary professional liability costs for any defense expenses against claims from vendors, credit card payment processors, customers and regulators.

As a result, many companies are now purchasing cyber liability coverage as part of their insurance. Considering the reports from Verizon and Symantec, an increased number of small businesses may be considering the same. 

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