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Small businesses constantly at risk

Nov 06, 2012 Dave King

Small businesses constantly at risk
Cybersecurity is a paramount factor in protecting business and personal information, as hackers have recently become the most common identity thieves. Additionally, the nation's small and mid-sized businesses have been targeted with higher frequencies by these hackers and internet criminals, making it vastly important for entrepreneurs to secure their systems.
 Following compliance requirements such as Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) is a good start, especially for merchants, but criminals are getting better at thwarting traditional methods and infiltrating systems. The worst thing a small to mid-sized business can do is not prepare for the threats that abound, as there is a wealth of guidance available to them. Electronic payment use in question
Many businesses have already started to accept electronic payments, while also conducting regularly-scheduled vendor and wage payments through ACH cards and wire transfers. These have become two of the more dangerous processes when it comes to the use of electronic systems to transfer personal and banking information. BankInfoSecurity recently reported that a new survey found small business owners are not feeling threatened enough to take precautionary measures against cyber attacks. According to the news provider, the National Cybersecurity Alliance (NCA) conducted a survey that found 66 percent of small business owners who responded think they are safe from the threats of hackers. The source cited a Verizon Business 2012 Data Breach Investigations Report, which revealed more than 90 percent of all lost payment card numbers and associated data comes from smaller businesses. This illustrates the point that small businesses are targeted by hackers and identity thieves much more than their larger counterparts, and also do not protect their systems as well. As for bank account numbers, smaller businesses are responsible for the loss of roughly 70 percent of the whole. The NCA asserted that these figures, as well as evidence that small business owners do not feel endangered by the threats that abound, are clear indications that the status quo needs to change among entrepreneurs. Potential losses from data breach
Businesses that are responsible for successful identity theft attacks often lose substantial sums of money and big portions of their reputations among consumers. Many are forced to close their doors forever, especially when the loss was caused by negligence. Small business owners can protect against this by better monitoring their ACH and wire transfers, as well as all of their data storage.