Over the past few years the number of security breaches has seemed to skyrocket. Major retailers like Supervalu, Home Depot and Target have famously suffered security lapses, but small businesses are also at risk.
"Seventy percent of data breaches happen through small businesses," said security expert Andrew Bagrin to online tech magazine Small Business Computing last month. "Ninety percent can be avoided by technology that's available today."
The National Small Business Association conducted a survey wherein 44 percent of respondents said they had been victims of a data breach, and each attack cost an average of $8,699.48. These cyber-crimes are costly and can often halt business operations for months and losing revenue in addition to the necessary funds expended to compensate for stolen merchandise and customer protection.
In fact, the National Cyber Security Alliance reports that 60 percent of small businesses that become victims close down within six months, whereas larger corporations can shoulder a bigger financial hit for things like revenue loss and legal teams.
The legal teams for large companies have the time and resources to negotiate lower penalty fees. For example, Target typically paid $45 per stolen credit card, whereas small businesses can pay up to $108 per card. This means that not only do small companies not have a great deal of funding to begin with, but they are also paying more than twice as much as larger stores.
If you're a small business owner, be sure to stay up-to-date with the latest credit card payment software. Bagrin recommends a cloud-based system with high-level protection software. This way retailers can operate a user-friendly inventory management system while staying secure.