Large corporations spend hundreds of thousands, often millions, of dollars oncybersecurity, but when it comes to small businesses, many owners aren't spending enough.
Only 2 percent of the small-business owners surveyed in the CNBC/SurveyMonkey Small Business Survey said they view the threat of a cyberattack as the most critical issue they face. The survey, conducted in April, gathered the findings from more than 2,000 small-business owners across the country in a variety of industries.
That, in some ways, makes sense. Taxes and the cost of employee health care were two of the highest-ranking items and certainly are more front of mind on a day-to-day basis. But online security experts say that very lack of focus makes small businesses a lot more vulnerable.
"Most small-business owners take the attitude of 'Why would anybody care about me? I'm just the little guy.'
It's because you're the little guy that you're of interest," says Hemu Nigam, founder of SSP Blue, an internet security consultant business, and the former vice president of internet enforcement at the Motion Picture Association of America. "Hackers love small businesses [because] they don't have the resources to put in high-end cybersecurity protection and they may not be consciously aware they are a target."