Small business owners are a new favorite target for hackers hoping to take advantage of weak security in small business environments. This excerpt from a recent article in the Wall Street Journal article Hackers Shift Attacks to Small Firms sums up the new reality:
“In the time it takes to break into a major company like Citigroup Inc., a hacker could steal data from dozens of small businesses and not get detected, says Bryce Case Jr., a former hacker who broke into several government and corporate websites a decade ago and now runs an online message board for hackers called Digital Gangster. Now that small companies use computers, "the juice has become worth the squeeze," he says. "Even a pizza place has addresses, names and credit-card information."
Whether you store card holder data or transmit card data over your network, it is important to protect your business and take the necessary security precautions. Please take the time to learn more about PCI guidelines and ensure that you maintain PCI compliance.
A good place to start is to review the PCI resources on the Vantage web site. For detection of security vulnerabilities at your business and for help managing PCI compliance requirements, you may be interested in our partnership with ControlScan.
The bottom line is that PCI is not something to be take lightly or ignored. While Vantage is doing our best to deliver this message to merchants and reward compliance with bonus Vantage Points, other merchant service providers are charging monthly non compliance PCI fees each month (hint: take a look at your merchant statement). Whether it’s the carrot or the stick approach that motivates you, the risk of a data compromise are real and the results can be devastating. So please heed the warnings and follow the compliance requirements.