The advent of the digital age has not only streamlined business processes but also brought along with it the increased risk of cyber threats. Recent trends indicate a shift in hacker focus from large corporations to unsuspecting targets such as small businesses, including mom-and-pop stores. The paper, titled “The Unforeseen Battlefield: Small Businesses as the New Frontline in National Cybersecurity,” delves into the evolving cybersecurity landscape and analyzes the multi-faceted repercussions of cyber-attacks on small businesses and the consequent ripple effects on national security. Using a case study approach, the paper illustrates the real-life example of a mom-and-pop store that suffered a cyber attack, setting the stage for an in-depth exploration of the motives behind targeting small enterprises. The study underscores how seemingly innocuous entities, such as a small family-run business, can inadvertently become conduits for large-scale attacks on critical infrastructure and government systems. The paper also addresses the potential for aggregated data from multiple small-scale attacks to be used in more sophisticated, targeted attacks against national security interests. By illuminating the cascading effects of breaches in small business security, this paper advocates for a more inclusive approach to national cybersecurity strategies, emphasizing the need for awareness, education, and more robust security measures among small business owners.
Keywords: cybersecurity, small businesses, national security, mom-and-pop stores, cyber threats, critical infrastructure