True Life Scary Small Business Cyberattacks – Part 1

Small business owners are often lulled into a false sense of safety when it comes to their cybersecurity. They figure hackers and cybercriminals won’t be interested in them because of their small size. However, that false security is just the sort of thing the hackers count on—they love to target small businesses because they haven’t taken steps to protect their data and are usually easy to hack. If you’ve fallen into the snare of believing you’re “safe enough” as a small business, the following true-life horror stories might change your point of view.

Burger Me No More

Bellingham, WA entrepreneur Rich Griffith learned the value of small business security tools the hard way, losing both his business and his dream when hackers broke into the computerized cash register at his burger shop, Burger Me, LLC. According to Wall Street Journal,  the cyberthieves hacked the device in 2006-2007, charging thousands of dollars fraudulently on customers’ credit cards. When his credit card company froze his incoming payments and closed his account, Griffiths’ burger joint was thrown into financial jeopardy between growing debts and lost revenue from his inability to accept credit cards. After going $12k deeper into debt trying to resolve the problem, he was forced to close his business in 2008. The cybercriminals were never caught.

Escrow Firm Loses Millions in Cyberattack: California Shuts It Down

In the space of two months, a small financial firm poised to clear half a million in profits ended up losing more than $1 million in other peoples’ money in a cyberheist, forcing them to shut down and lay off their staff. According to Krebs on Security, the first hack consisted of a fraudulent wire of more than $400,000 from the firm’s bank to a bank in Moscow in December 2012. The following month, two more transfers totaling $1.1 million were sent to accounts in the Heilongjiang Province in China along the Russian border—a province the firm later discovered was under an FBI alert for stealing more than $20 million from American accounts. The first fraudulent wire to Russia was recovered; the two to China were not. Under requirement by California law, the escrow firm reported the financial shortfall to the California Department of Corporations, who gave them three days to make up the difference. They couldn’t, so the state shut them down and put their assets into a conservatorship.

As a small business owner, you can’t make assumptions about the security of your network, especially when you can become much more secure with minimal effort and cost. Call us at 1-877-NetServ to learn more.