Data breaches at big retailers including Home Depot and Target may be grabbing attention, but mom-and-pop businesses shouldn't feel like they're in the clear. Hackers also have their eye on smaller businesses, according to experts.
The latest business to be hit by a breach is Jimmy John's. The Champagne, Illinois-based sandwich chain on Wednesday said it has learned of a possible security incident involving consumers' credit and debit card data, which was compromised after an intruder stole log-in credentials from the company's point-of-sale vendor. That information was then used to remotely access point-of-sale systems at approximately 216 locations between June 16, 2014 and Sept. 5, 2014.
Smaller merchants, meanwhile, also have been the target of cyberthieves. In 2013, targeted attacks aimed at small businesses with up to 250 employees accounted for 30 percent of all hack attacks, compared with 18 percent in 2011, according to data from Symantec, a tech security company.
And data breaches can be costly, especially for smaller employers. In 2014, companies on average paid $145 for each lost or stolen record containing sensitive and confidential information, according to the Ponemon Institute's 2014 Cost of Data Breach Study. The institute focuses on research related to privacy, data protection and information security policy.