A new nationwide survey of small businesses, solopreneurs and gig workers shows that more than half – 58% – have been hit with a data breach, a security breach or both.
The survey by the Identity Theft Resource Center, www.idtheftcenter.org, also shows that 44% of those surveyed spent between $250,000 and $500,000 to recover costs associated with the incident.
While research has been done on impacts to large companies, there has been no comprehensive look at how small firms or individual entrepreneurs have recovered from a data or security breach, the national nonprofit says.
“… most identity crimes today begin with a cyberattack against a business. Increasingly, those attacks are against small businesses that lack the staff, expertise and resources to defend themselves,” says Eva Velasquez, president and CEO of the resource center.
A security breach is when a computer system is broken into by an unauthorized party, such as outside scammers, business employees or contractors. A data breach is when the information is actually stolen and removed, such as from a computer database.
The study made clear how long it takes a business to return to normal after an attack. More than 40% said it took one or two years to recover.
Here are some other findings:
- Of the businesses that experienced a breach, three-fourths had at least two incidents and one-third had at least three.
- Recovery for 36% of those surveyed meant incurred debt, while 34% had to dip into cash reserves.
- Forty percent of the attacks were waged by people outside the business; 35% were by “malicious employees and contractors.”
Watch out for phone calls purporting to be from Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court.
The court says it is hearing of bogus calls threatening people with arrest if they do not pay a certain amount of cash.
“What’s really alarming is that these scammers reportedly not only know the name of the person they are calling, but also are citing actual case numbers, referencing the names of current judges and going by names of actual law enforcement officers,” Court Executive Officer Robert L. Padilla says.
And, no, a court or law enforcement official will never ask to meet you at a vacant lot, a storefront or anywhere else to take your cash.
If you owe money to the court, you will be notified only by mail through a court-issued summons or warrant. Payment is made online, by mail or in person.
Other bogus calls making the rounds threaten people with arrest for failing to appear in court.
Scammers are saying that the person failed to appear either as a defendant or alleged victim in a case, and that an officer will come and arrest them unless they pay up.
As in the first scenario: the court won’t call you. It relies on mail to send notices of hearings, a summons to appear or a bench warrant for failure to appear.
Contact Ellen Marks at email@example.com or 505-823-3842 if you are aware of what sounds like a scam. To report a scam to law enforcement, contact the New Mexico Consumer Protection Division toll-free at 1-888-255-9210 or file a complaint at www.nmag.gov/file-a-complaint.aspx.