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Current Small Business Cyber Crime Threats to Watch

Deborah Gallant
December 2, 2023

Whether you want to call them hackers, attackers, scammers, or just plain thieves, cyber criminals see small businesses as easy targets. What exactly are they doing, though?

Cybercrime is simply any crime that uses a computer or other computing device (phones and tablets included) to commit a crime. This list includes fraud, identity theft, privacy violations, theft of intellectual property, and more.

Through the years, cyber crime has continued to evolve. Viruses entered the picture a few decades ago. While they’re not talked about much these days, they do still exist. But today, says Kyle Knapp, owner of IT firm Viterium and an Entrepreneurs Forever member, businesses are more susceptible to the following computer crimes, which he describes as follows:


A lot of times, phishing attacks are social engineering and tricking someone into doing something that they shouldn't. They’re designed to either get access to a system or to steal information. In many cases, it is used to try to get someone to transfer money to somewhere where they shouldn't. Some variant of phishing is spear phishing, where a cyber criminal is actually targeting a specific person, and whaling, which is spearfishing, but focused on high-level, high-value targets like CEOs, VPs, and other people that are high up within larger companies.


Ransomware is software that encrypts the information on your computer and denies you access.  (If you are a consultant or service provider who also has your client data in your system, this is also at risk!) In order to get the data decrypted, you have to pay the attackers a certain amount of money to get the decryption key to restore your information. Even if you pay the ransom, you still might not get your data back.


Hacking is an attempt to enter someone else's system or network through the worldwide web. In some cases, especially with a high profile target, it is someone actually sitting there probing different points of weakness within a network to see if they can gain access.

Imposter scams or spoofing

Cyber criminals may also try to spoof you or your customers. The criminals might send a fake email to your customers in which they pose as one of your employees who's having trouble processing the customer's credit card — "Could you re-enter it?" Shotgun email blasts are similar. You’ve probably seen these in your inbox when a criminal uses a prominent bank's name to do the same thing. They’re hoping that a lot of people on their email list use that bank, will think it's a valid email valid request and start plugging in personal information. 

💥This is not a complete list! 💥 Creating one would be next to impossible since threats and technology constantly change. What matters more than the types of cyber crime your small business might face is this: are you protected?

Learn more about cyber crime, what to watch for in your small businesses, and get a list of best practices for protecting your business by clicking “play” on the video from our recent Deep Dive, Yes, Your Small Business Needs to Worry about Cyber Security. Deep Dives are in-depth discussions with audience Q&A presented monthly by Entrepreneurs Forever via Zoom. Deep Dives are free for all small business owners to attend and are presented monthly.

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