This international attack took hold so fiercely that it infected computers in over 150 countries affecting organisations both large and small. Cybersecurity firm F-Secure based in Helsinki has labelled this largescale attack as ‘the biggest ransomware outbreak in history’. 
Whilst well-known organisations such as the NHS and FedEx have been the focal point of media attention, little is known about the small businesses that would have been caught up in the crossfire and suffered as a result of the ransomware ‘WannaCry’.
Since the global outbreak of WannaCry, organisations have become more alert to the increased risk of ransomware. However, cybercriminals are continuously developing techniques to find new ways to exploit businesses. This week a new form of ransomware, ‘Petya’, has victimised The Ukrainian Central Bank and Russian oil giant Rosneft, as well as others, however experts have speculated that the spread of this ransomware is likely to be much slower than last month’s attack.
Though smaller businesses may not dominate the headlines as the target of such attacks, they are probably some of the most vulnerable, as Rob Hadfield, Technical and Training Director of Get Safe Online, explains:
“The problem is that small business owners may not have spare capacity in terms of people to take on board training and online monitoring and they don’t always have the money to spend on the IT solutions and training.”
But why would cybercriminals victimise smaller businesses when they could target larger organisations with a view to higher gains? Rob Hadfield explains:
“Most big companies have got sufficient security in place, typically a team of 20 plus people looking after online security alone”
Rob elaborates further on the reasons that small businesses can be seen as easy targets:
“Even a very small business could have many thousands of pounds in their business accounts…and often have lots of transactions in and out of their bank accounts, so for example if a large sum was to go missing…they may not necessarily notice this straight away”.
So how can business owners protect themselves from the ever growing threat of cybercrime? How are cybercriminals successfully deceiving business owners and unwitting employees to gain access to their hard earned cash?
Having examined the main threats to businesses at the beginning of the year, we explore other popular techniques online criminals are using to gain access to systems worldwide.