How Vulnerable Are Small Businesses to Point of Sale Data Breaches?

How Vulnerable Are Small Businesses to Point of Sale Data Breaches?

Data shows that data breaches are becoming far more common these days and often affect small businesses most significantly. This is a prime reason for many owners of these companies to understand just how vulnerable they are, and take steps to remediate the issue.

Estimates from Visa show that as many as 95 percent of data breaches involving credit cards come from small businesses, and in all, 63 percent of attacks carried out by hackers affected companies with 100 employees or fewer, according to a report from Merchant Warehouse. In many cases, these affect the retail industry in particular, as 45 percent of all investigations into these incidents came for these types of companies last year; that was up from just 25 percent the year before. Moreover, 48 percent of all such instances were for e-commerce sites.

More troubling, though, is that it seems to be growing harder for companies to determine when they’ve been hit by such an attack, the report said. For instance, 64 percent of all attacks took 90 days or more to be uncovered, and the average amount of time for any such discovery was 210 days.

The reasons for these issues is that in many cases, independently owned companies either ignore or cannot afford to uphold even basic security protocols, the report said. These include not maintaining anti-virus or anti-spyware programs on company systems, which leave computers vulnerable to malware that can do everything from record keystrokes on these computers to simply steal vital records. Moreover, many businesses may also have unprotected WiFi networks that make it easier for hackers to log into their systems and potentially gain access to other devices connected to the network. Even if they are protected, the passwords may not be strong enough to keep out determined hackers.

For these reasons, small businesses should try to do all in their power to make sure that they’re properly protected, and that might include taking out a tech insurance policy. Doing so will help them to cover the often sizable costs of dealing with data breach remediation when such an incident occurs. Again, because they may not have the resources necessary to properly protect themselves, having some amount of coverage after the fact can be vital to helping a business stay afloat in the aftermath.