Common Types of Cyberattacks Targeting Small Businesses

June 23, 2023
Cyberattack targeting small business owner logging into laptop.

You may think cybercriminals primarily target large companies. However, with small businesses making up 99.9% of businesses in the U.S., small businesses can also become victims of cyberattacks.

The cost of cybercrime is predicted to hit $8 trillion in 2023. There has never been a more critical time to be vigilant. Now is a great time to learn more about some of the most common types of cyberattacks that can strike small businesses.


Common Types of Cyberattacks in 2023


Malware. Malware is a more general term encompassing many varieties of malicious software. An employee clicking on a dangerous link, downloading a malicious email attachment, visiting an unsafe website, or installing malicious software can all lead to a malware attack.

These are some of the most common types of malware attacks:

  • Ransomware encrypts data making in unusable. Cybercriminals typically demand a ransom from the victim to restore access to the data after the data is encrypted and is no longer accessible by the business. 
  • Virus is a malicious computer code that can replicate and spread onto other devices. Viruses can infect and damage a device or steal data.
  • Trojan is a type of malicious code or software that is disguised to look like legitimate software. Unlike viruses, Trojan malware does not replicate itself.
  • Worms are one of the reasons why people are warned not to download suspicious email attachments. An email worm can send a copy of itself as an email attachment or a link in an email message.
  • Spyware attaches itself to a computer’s operating system (or mobile device) and gathers information about the user which is later parceled up for sale.

Phishing. The second common type of cyberattack is phishing. Phishing may involve sending a mass number of emails that may look like they are from a source the recipient knows and trusts. Phishing emails aim to install malicious code in a system when the recipient opens the email  and performs a task like clicking a link provided in the email.

Denial-of-Service (DOS) Attack. A DOS attack uses traffic to flood and overwhelm a system, website, or network to make it inaccessible. This type of cyberattack carries colorfully named subtypes such as smurf attack, botnets, ping-of-death, teardrop attack, and TCP SYN flood attack.

SQL Injection. Malicious code is inserted into a server using server query language (SQL) to gain access to protected information. SQL injection attacks are often executed via unprotected search boxes or comment boxes on a web page, demonstrating how important it is to consider all customer touchpoints on a website.

Brute Force Attack. In an attempt to gain a password, a brute force attack uses a program to try all possible combinations of information. A brute force attack may be used to crack a  password to a computer, email, website, online fulfillment system and more!


Finding the Right Cyber Insurance Solution for Your Small Business


Acrisure Cyber Services can help you find the right cyber insurance solution to help protect your small business from losses resulting from cyberattacks. Cyber insurance typically covers the costs associated with restoration of lost data, forensic IT services to help investigate data breaches, customer notifications and more. This type of insurance coverage is increasingly an essential choice for small businesses.

Cyberattacks on small businesses are a growing concern. There are many ways to help protect your business from cyberattacks. Learning more about the different types of cyber threats is the first step. Contact the cybersecurity professionals at Acrisure Cyber Services.


The insurance products described are placed by Acrisure, LLC and/or its insurance producer affiliates. The non-insurance cybersecurity and related cyber services described are provided by Acrisure Cyber Services, LLC, an affiliate of Acrisure, LLC.

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