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Cybercriminals Narrow Their Focus On SMBs According To The Acronis Cyberthreats Report Mid-Year Update

Despite the perception they are too small to target, SMBs are increasingly vulnerable due to supply-chain attacks and greater use of automation by ransomware groups

Acronis, the global leader in cyber protection, released the Acronis Cyberthreats Report Mid-year 2021 update, an in-depth review of the cyberthreat trends the company’s experts are tracking. Released at this week’s Black Hat 2021 event, where Acronis is a Diamond sponsor, the report warns that small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are at particular risk based on the attack trends seen during the first six months of the year.

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The report revealed that during the first half of 2021, 4 out of 5 organizations experienced a cybersecurity breach originating from a vulnerability in their third-party vendor ecosystem. That’s at a time when the average cost of a data breach rose to around $3.56 million, with the average ransomware payment jumping 33% to more than $100,000.

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While that represents a major financial hit to any organization, those amounts would sound the death-knell for most SMBs, which Acronis believes is a major concern for the second half of 2021.

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“While the increase in attacks affects organizations of all sizes, something that’s under-reported in the coverage of current cyberthreat trends is the impact on the small business community,” explained Candid Wüest, Acronis VP of Cyber Protection Research. “Unlike larger corporations, small and medium-sized companies don’t have the money, resources, or staffing expertise needed to counter today’s threats. That’s why they turn to IT service providers – but if those service providers are compromised, those SMBs are at the mercy of the attackers.”

By utilizing supply-chain attacks against managed service providers (MSPs), attackers gain access to both the MSP business and all of its clients. As seen in the SolarWinds breach last year and the Kaseya VSA attack earlier in 2021, one successful attack means they can breach hundreds or thousands of SMBs downstream.

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