Any time you go online to do some shopping, process a customer’s payment, or conduct any other type of financial transaction, you might be worried that a hacker can view that activity and steal the credit card number. After all, entering those digits online can be intimidating. Who might be watching, and who might intercept important information? We tend to picture hackers hiding in a dark room somewhere, watching our every move and waiting for an opportunity to pounce.
But really, in most cases we’re focused on the wrong type of danger. Most major websites and payment platforms focus on encrypting transactions so that data theft cannot happen that way. That’s not to say it never happens, but it’s not really where cyber criminals focus their efforts. That’s because it would take a lot of work and expertise just to monitor a single transaction and steal the information. It’s really not worth their time or trouble.
But what is worth the effort? Large databases offer up massive amounts of information in exchange for a single (even if it’s complex) operation to get inside. Think back to all of the major data breaches in recent years: They were large companies, storing data from thousands or perhaps even millions of customers. Once hacked, cyber criminals have endless amounts of information to utilize to their advantage.
And no, they don’t typically steal your credit card number and proceed to order new shoes. Again, that’s way too much effort for a relatively small payoff. What they actually do is put reams of information up for sale on the black market. They get one big payoff in exchange for the entire database they’ve just stolen.
This might lead you to believe that hackers only target those large corporations with millions of people in their databases. That, unfortunately, is also incorrect.
Thieves know that a small business with fewer than 50 employees that has been operating for 10-15 years will likely have thousands of contacts in their database. If that business happens to be a medical office, insurance office, mortgage broker, CPA, attorney, or financial advisor (or anything similar), thieves will also know that the data is likely to contain Social Security numbers, full names and addresses, and perhaps even bank account numbers. In addition, those small businesses are MORE likely to have taken FEWER steps to protect that data, making them a potentially easy and lucrative target.
That’s why dependable data security is where you should focus your efforts. Locking up your database properly will protect your clients and your business from a breach and all of the stress from angry customers, a public relations nightmare, potential lawsuits, and settlements.
Give us a call at 888-RING-MY-TECH and we’ll get started right away. Protecting your data is the best way to protect your customers and your own business.