Cybersecurity firm Symantec now says that cyberthieves have been increasingly targeting small businesses over the last four years. Cyber hackers view small businesses as a soft, easy mark versus big blue chip companies which have ramped up their cyber firewalls, said Sian John, a chief strategist at Symantec.

Almost half of cyber-attacks worldwide, 43%, last year were against small businesses with less than 250 workers, Symantec reports. The FBI reported last summer that more than 7,000 U.S. companies of all sizes were victims of cyber hacks via phishing email scams as of late 2013, the latest data available, with losses of more than $740 million. 

Many small businesses have poor cybersecurity, lacking things like anti-phishing email measures, a chief cybersecurity officer, data encryption, or off-site backups of their websites. A survey commissioned by insurer Nationwide of 500 small businesses in late 2015 revealed that eight in 10 small-businesses don’t have a basic cyber-attack response plan, even though a majority was hit by cyber crimes.

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