Small Businesses are Being Targeted by Cyber Attackers
We hear plenty about cyber attacks targeting big businesses. In 2019 alone, 540 million Facebook records were exposed; a Toyota data breach exposed the personal information of 3.1 million customers; and the information for almost 12 million Quest Diagnostics patients became compromised.
But the Wall Street Journal reported that plenty of small businesses are getting hurt by cyber attacks, too.
While these attacks don’t make the same splashy headlines, the steep fines and large penalties that come with them are devastating.
Death of a Startup
The WSJ highlighted the story of Jessie Daniels and Polly Thistlethwaite, who started Innovative Higher Ed Consulting in New York in mid-2018.
Their goal was to “teach academics how to get more attention for their research.”
The journal reported: “In January, cyber thieves ran roughly 100,000 stolen card numbers through the payment system of Innovative Higher Ed Consulting Inc., a two-person startup in New York. Soon after, Bank of America Merchant Services, the startup’s payment processor, sent a $27,000 bill for reversing the charges.”
By May 2019, Innovative Higher Ed Consulting was closed due to the attacks. It’s a fascinating cautionary tale definitely worth the read.
By the Numbers
- 67%. The number of small- and medium-size businesses reporting a cyber attack in a 2018 Ponemon Institute survey — up from 55% in 2016.
- 43%. The amount of small businesses suffering data breaches in a recent Verizon report.
“We don’t want very high velocity filters, because if we do that we would minimize the amount of commerce a business can do.” — Larry Brennan, a cyber security executive with Bank of America Merchant Services