Small business owners don’t have a shortage of challenges to deal with. It’s tough getting started and carving out your little niche in the great big world of business today. The Internet adds new dimensions to the challenge that haven’t existed in the days of business past. One of those challenges is the constant threat of malicious hacking, viruses, and malware.
Backoff malware infections represent the newest wave of attacks threatening businesses large and small throughout the country. This threat is quite sinister and one small business owners should take seriously.
It first made headlines when knowledge of the attack on Dairy Queen point of sale (POS) devices were attacked in more than 400 stores. The attack was devastating gaining access to customer names, credit card numbers, and dates of expiration.
The silver lining in all of this, though is that it does not seem to have gained access to PIN numbers, email addresses, and Social Security Numbers. Dairy Queen also believes they have the attack well in hand at this point.
While Dairy Queen may be the company with the highest profile to step up and admit being infected with Backoff malware, early estimates were that more than 1,000 companies were hit by this big bug. Unfortunately, new information says that the actual number of businesses impacted by the virus may be substantially higher.
Attacks seem to have occurred primarily in the United States, though there were IP addresses traced to Canada, the United Kingdom, and Israel.
The frustrating part about the Backoff malware programs is that very few of the companies infected with it were even aware of the infection. Some companies were infected for half a year or longer without even knowing there was a problem.
The current belief is that it was released and being infecting computers across the country (and to some degree globally) in October of 2013, but wasn’t discovered until August of 2014. Until then there were no malware tools that could combat it until after its discovery.
It’s not the sophistication of Backoff that makes it such a huge concern, it’s the sheer volume of systems it’s compromised in a relatively short span of time – and without detection. Unfortunately, many small businesses do not have the tools or the technology in place to identify these types of breaches as they occur or to easily combat them once they do.
Despite your best efforts to provide security for your customers and employees, malware technology is simply advancing too fast for most small businesses to keep up, that’s why it’s so important to have not only cyber liability insurance for your small business, but also an adequate business owner’s policy (BOP).