Department of Scary Numbers for SMB’s

June 5, 2008

An Information Week (Canada) article called Losses from online attacks skyrocketing Reports that 20% of (Canadian) companies have suffered (admitted to!) financial losses due to security attacks. This has reduced customer confidence to about as low as it can go;

Only one half of one per cent said they were very confident that retailers can protect their personal information online

This is not just a Canadian phenomenon either, this Australian article from Secure Computing provides this quote;

One of the most startling was a note by Visa that more than 80 per cent of all the hacks involving card data theft are against merchants that carry out fewer than 20,000 card transactions a year.

In the SMB space, we usually think that only the “Big Companies” will be the ones usually hit by these targeted attacks. But the rules are changing. While hitting the “Big Companies” like TJX may be the most lucrative if you can do it, the risk is higher, because like robbing a bank – you know every Police Force and Agency with names made up of made up of numbers and letters in the area is looking for you.

It may be slower, but it is less risky to go after smaller companies, because in many cases – they may never know it happened. And second, like stealing a car, these “little” thefts are unlikely to hit world radar.

Both these articles are a wake up call to all Small Business / Medium Business Managers that utilize any form of electronic commerce. Not to mention your plain old Point of Sale system. The rules have changed, your mind set must be that someone Has / Is / Will attack you. It is no longer a vague “maybe”.

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