Symantec warns small firms are in cyber criminal sights

Symantec has warned that attacks on small businesses are growing rapidly and they are being used as a stepping stone to get to larger enterprises

Small businesses face more cyber security attacks than their larger counterparts as criminals look to exploit weakness in the supply chain.

Symantec has warned that the number of attacks faced by smaller firms has doubled in the last year while the level of activity in the enterprise space has dropped.

The reasons for the growth in activity are twofold with smaller firms often making easier targets as well as the strategy of criminals to use them to infect larger firms in the supply chain.

Jay Epton, UK SME Director at Symantec, said that the response from larger businesses was to start to push for greater levels of security in their smaller suppliers.

"Small business may supply into a larger supplier and many use that as a stepping stone to get into the bigger enterprise, specifically targeting small businesses," he said.

"Web are seeing a request from larger suppliers for more details of supplier security policies and they are saying that if you are going to engage with us we would expect those policies will be applied," he added.

Mark Williams, client services director at Wavex, said it was already seeing more security questions crop up in tenders that its customers were facing where the larger suppliers were asking more security questions.

"The sophistication of buyers is growing," he added "Clients tendering for business are asking those questions as well and those are some questions that hadn't been asked before."

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