Negligent employees are no. 1 cause of cybersecurity breaches at small to middle market enterprises.

Careless workers and poor passwords have led to a rise in ransomware attacks and other breaches on SMBs, which cost an average of $1 million.

Negligent employees are the no. 1 cause of data breaches at small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) across North America and the UK, according to a new study from Keeper Security and the Ponemon Institute, released Tuesday. Of the 1,000 IT professionals surveyed, 54% said careless workers were the root cause of cybersecurity incidents, followed by poor company password policies.

This is especially concerning due to the rise in ransomware attacks: More than 50% of SMBs surveyed had experienced such an attack in the past year, which often enters an organization via a phishing email aimed at tricking an employee into clicking a malicious link or download. Indeed, in the survey, 79% of those hit said the ransomware entered their system through a phishing or social engineering attack. Further, of those who experienced an attack, 53% were hit more than once in the year.e

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