03 12 2013

03 12 2013

Small Businesses Vulnerable to Data Breaches and Cybercrime

Small businesses have technology to thank for a lot of things. The rise of ecommerce, for one, has transformed the way consumers buy, while “bring your own device” policies have enabled better collaboration and efficiency at smaller firms.

However, small business owners also have technology to blame for the onset of cybercrime activity. More than ever, tech-savvy ne’er-do-wells are targeting firms in an effort to steal company and consumer data. To prevent against this, many entrepreneurs have turned to a small business equipment lease in order to boost their digital protection capabilities. Yet, many small businesses leave themselves exposed to data breach incidents, and a recent survey indicated a number of them didn’t notify those potentially harmed by the breach.

Half had a breach, just a third reported

Overall, 55 percent of respondents admitted to experiencing a data breach at least once, 53 percent said they had multiple instances of data being hacked into, usually electronic records, according to Ponemon Institute and The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company (HSB). Despite 46 states in the country requiring that firms alert individuals to data breaches involving their personal information, just 33 percent did so.

“Smaller companies are targeted by data thieves, but they often don’t know how to respond when sensitive information they keep on customers and employees is lost or stolen,” said Eric Cernak, vice president for HSB. “Failing to act in a timely and effective way can harm the reputation of businesses and even risk legal penalties in many states.”

HSB said the most common causes behind data hacks were mistakes made by employees or contractors, compromised laptops and smartphones that were stolen or lost, and procedural errors.

Small businesses said money is part of the problem in preventing data breaches. Only 62 percent of respondents have contracts with third-party entities – which have access to company and consumer data – that would have the latter cover all associated costs of a breach. Seventy percent said they would purchase insurance if it helped cover expenses. Overall, 70 percent said losing data that would identify clients and others would be more damaging than losing confidential company data.

Small business owners are certainly aware of the risks and consequences of data breaches, yet many are unprepared for such occurrences. In order to safeguard their information and customer relationships, businesses can look to National Funding for a working capital loan to set up anti-data breach infrastructures and protocols.

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Any applications submitted electronically shall have the same force and effect as if the application bore an inked original signature(s). The above information, together with any accompanying financial statements, schedules, or other materials, is submitted for the purpose of obtaining credit and is warranted to be true, correct, and complete.

 

US Patriot Act:

To help the government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering activities, Federal law requires all financial institutions to obtain, verify, and record information that identifies each person and business that seeks a business loan. What this means for you: When you apply for a loan, we will ask for your business name, address, and Tax Identification Number. We will also ask for your name, address, date of birth, and other information that will allow us to identify you. We may also ask to see your driver’s license or other identifying documents.

 

For Loan/Merchant Services:

The Merchant and Owner(s)/Officer(s) identified in the application (individually, an “Applicant”) each represents, acknowledges and agrees that (1) all information and documents provided to National Funding, Inc. (“NF”) including credit card processor statements are true, accurate and complete, (2) Applicant will immediately notify NF of any change in such information or financial condition, (3) Applicant authorizes NF to disclose all information and documents that NF may obtain including credit reports to other persons or entities (collectively, “Assignees”) that may be involved with or acquire commercial loans having daily repayment features and/or Merchant Cash Advance transactions, including without limitation the application therefor (collectively, “Transactions”) and each Assignee is authorized to use such information and documents, and share such information and documents with other Assignees, in connection with potential Transactions, (4) each Assignee will rely upon the accuracy and completeness of such information and documents, (5) NF, Assignees, and each of their representatives, successors, assigns and designees (collectively, “Recipients”) are authorized to request and receive any investigative reports, credit reports, statements from creditors or financial institutions, verification of information, or any other information that a Recipient deems necessary, (6) Applicant waives and releases any claims against Recipients and any information-providers arising from any act or omission relating to the requesting, receiving or release of information, and (7) each Owner/Officer represents that he or she is authorized to sign this form on behalf of Merchant.(8) I consent to receive direct mail, faxes, text-messages, and e-mails sent by National Funding and its affiliates for the purposes of transmitting account updates, requests for information and notices, and (9) this request is for business and not for consumer purposes.

 

For Equipment Services:

I hereby certify: (1) the information provided is true and correct, (2) you are hereby authorized to investigate all bank, credit, and trade references, and said references are hereby authorized to release any requested information to you or your nominee, (3) such authorization shall extend to obtaining personal credit profile in considering this application and subsequently for the purposes of update, renewal or extension of such credit or additional credit and for reviewing or collecting the resulting account, (4) this information may be transmitted by us to you and by you to underwriter(s) for the purpose of granting me credit, either electronically or manually, and that by submitting this application, I take full responsibility for transmission thereof, (5) I am over 18 years of age, (6) I acknowledge my rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, (7) I consent to receive direct mail, faxes, text-messages, and e-mails sent by National Funding and its affiliates for the purposes of transmitting account updates, requests for information and notices, and (8) this request is for business and not for consumer purposes.

 

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