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  Feature Article   September 2018

 

Small Businesses Struggling
With Cybersecurity Breaches
of Customer Payment Card Data

In 2016 alone, over 14 million American small businesses were breached by cybercriminals.

 

Small to medium-sized businesses are hit with nearly 4,000 cyberattacks per day, and that number is expected to grow. Almost half are likely to fall victim to a cyberattack.

Despite common misconceptions, small businesses are prime targets for hackers because of their size. Thieves arenít concerned about how big a business is; as long as there is financial gain to be had from stealing, any company is fair game.

 

"Over the next five years, smaller payment processors and resellers may not have the resources and technology needed to keep up with continuous upgrades in security required to protect merchants' customer payment data from fraudulent hacker breaches."

 

In 2016 alone, over 14 million American small businesses were breached by cybercriminals. And with over 30 million American small businesses that means 46% of all small businesses will likely become a cyberattack victim.

When cybercriminals strike, itís often large enterprises that make front page headlines. But donít be fooled ó the small coffee shop down the street and the local grocer are even more likely to be targets for malicious hackers.

Point of sale terminals, where sensitive Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) data is securely processed and transmitted, are consistently targeted in hacking campaigns. With the average cost of a data breach having risen this year, from $141 to $148 per lost or stolen record, having defenses in place to protect customer payment card data continues to be crucial for small merchants.

Cyberattacks can be financially devastating; 60% of small businesses suffering a breach are likely to go out of business within six months. From a loss of customers to a damaged credit reputation through defaulted loans, small businesses and their creditors have a lot to lose, and one in three business owners have no safeguards in place to combat a cyberbreach.

The absence of a dedicated IT or security professional leaves small businesses vulnerable to otherwise preventable attacks, like phishing schemes and fraudulent activity. One IT employee simply isnít equipped to handle the day-to-day technology responsibilities while running surveillance initiatives to keep the bad actors at bay, and small businesses are taking a huge risk relying on their employees to not fall victim to lurking hackers.

In addition to a lack of resources, internal disagreements about the severity of cyberattacks complicate the cybersecurity dilemma. Thirty-five percent of employees and 51% of leaders are convinced their business is not a target for cybercriminals, which could explain why small businesses donít prioritize security education and best practices.

Small businesses processes billions in credit card transactions annually, and these everyday interactions are a magnet for cyber criminals. They know that many do not have the necessary levels of preparedness to defend against an attack. And as businesses respond to increasing demand for more customer-facing technology, they are increasing their risk points and need to protect themselves accordingly.

Even a single cyberattack could critically, if not fatally, injure business operations for small- and medium-sized businesses, according to industry statistics.

Cyberattack stats:

ē 60 per cent of small to medium-sized businesses go out of business within six months of a cyberattack
ē 70 per cent of cyber attackers deliberately target small businesses
ē 71 per cent of cyberattacks hit businesses with fewer than 100 employees
ē $180,000 is the average loss that small- and medium-sized businesses sustain from cyberattacks

The number of businesses experiencing losses from cybercrime is increasing in North America, and so is the scale of their losses. The number of businesses reporting losses of more than a million dollars is rising.

The simplest attacks, such as email phishing scams, can have devastating consequences for small business owners and consumers who donít know how to recognize them.

Small business owners should conduct a comprehensive overview of their payment system, break down where card data is at risk, how cybercriminals can steal customer payment data, and implement ways to protect data.

 

Small merchants need to better protect their customers' payment card data

While traditionally overshadowed by large merchants, small merchants Ė businesses like automotive repair, home improvement businesses, medical offices, the corner bodega, the local hairdresser, and the food truck parked in the town square Ė all remain ripe targets for cybercriminals.

Point of sale terminals, where sensitive Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) data is securely processed and transmitted, are consistently targeted in hacking campaigns. With the average cost of a data breach having risen this year, from $141 to $148 per lost or stolen record, having defenses in place to protect customer payment card data continues to be crucial for small merchants.

Over the next five years, smaller regional payment processors and resellers may not have the resources and technology needed to keep up with continuous upgrades in security required to protect merchants' customer payment data from fraudulent hacker breaches.

excerpts attribution:
visa.com
digitalguardian.com
digitaljournal.com
www.cutimes.com

 

 

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