What happens when a cyber criminal gains access to the customer credit records that a business owner thought were secure? When it's your business and your customers, you must do whatever it takes to make things right. Unfortunately, the consequences that merchants face if their credit card data is breached may go far beyond a loss of immediate income. Companies like EVO, Elavon and FlagShip have put in place "Breach Insurance" to offer merchants a way to cover expenses should a data breach occur. Setting things right for your customers may lead to a financial setback for you and your business.
Large scale data breaches have made for big time headlines in the past few months. The most notorious being the Target data breach over the holiday season with 40 million debit and credit card accounts compromised.
Time magazine reported on May, 23 that Ebay was also hit with a massive cyberattack that exposed the account information of 100 million users. The Attorney Generals of Florida, Connecticut and Illinois along with the authorities in the EU and UK have opened an investigation into this cyberattack.
Recently, credit card data breaches have been a hot topic in the news, and the consequences merchants face if their credit card data is breached can be quite costly. Obviously, for merchants like Target, this is definitely not the publicity that they want. Surprisingly, smaller businesses may be more at risk and have more to lose from such a breach.
Risk to Small Businesses
Though small businesses may not believe they have anything to worry about, they actually may be more of a target due to their lower security standards. A USA Today article stated, ...
One very alarming white paper by the cyber security consultants at Ponemon Institute showed that 2013 was a particularly active year for hackers targeting U.S. businesses. The study focuses on worldwide costs of reporting, repairing and preventing data breaches.
“In this year’s global study, the average (worldwide per capita) data breach increased from $130 to $136. However, … US organizations on average experienced much higher costs at $188, respectively (second only to Germany).”