According to a new report, small businesses have fallen prey to increased number of cyber attacks.

A recent report by Symantec Security Response found that in 2012, 50 percent of all targeted cyber attacks focused on businesses with fewer than 2,500 employees. Attacks on business with fewer than 250 employees increased from 18 percent in 2011 to 31 percent in 2012.

The 58 page report contains information collected by surveying Symantec.cloud clients and analyzing data collected by Symantec.cloud security services such as their global spam honeypots, also known as spam traps, as well as data provided by Norton Cybercrime Index.

Other findings by Symantec included: 

  • Manufacturing was the most attacked sector in 2012. At 24 percent, it was targeted twice as often as government organizations.
  • Finance, Insurance & Real Estate sectors were targets of 19 percent of the attacks.
  • Most frequently targeted job roles, at 27 percent, were in research and development, followed closely by sales representatives, at 24 percent.
  • Hackers are responsible for 40 percent of the data breaches. Information that is made public accidentally makes up 23 percent of data breaches, a number equal to data breaches caused by theft or loss of devices such a computer or a drive.