Small Businesses and Cyber Security Gaps: A Close Look

January 2, 2017 | By James Raymond

Small Business Security


There are many small businesses today that don’t care much about PCI compliance, PCI SAQ etc. They believe that things like PCI compliance, SAQ etc are necessary for big businesses only and not needed for them at all. They think they are safe without all these. The truth, however, is that hackers don’t go after big businesses alone, they do not spare small businesses either. All businesses are big business for hackers.

Just take a look at the recent history of data breaches across the world and you’d find that cyber attacks against small businesses are quietly on the rise. From the hackers’ point of view, small businesses, like big businesses, do give them what they want, ie, data. Thus it becomes really important for small businesses as well to protect themselves, though there are still many of them who believe they are not at all potential targets for cyber criminals. This is why they don’t adopt cyber security measures or go for things like PCI compliance, PCI SAQ etc. There are many small businesses that don’t follow the PCI compliance procedure in the correct manner; they just do it for the sake of being officially PCI compliant. Real and total PCI compliance, PCI SAQ etc are something they are not bothered about.

Let’s take a look at some of the key cyber security gaps that pose a threat to the security of data as regards small businesses. The major security gaps are-

The e-commerce portals

The e-commerce portals that many small businesses run are not secured the way they should be. PCI compliance too is not taken seriously by many such companies. This kind of insecure e-commerce poses serious security threats to small businesses.

The mobile devices

Well, this is the era of the mobile technology and mobile devices. Employees today use mobile devices at work, for all kinds of work-related purposes and connect to the enterprise network via personal mobile devices as well. These mobile devices, the apps installed in them could pose a big threat to the security of any business, big or small. Those small businesses who don’t have a well-planned mobile device management strategy should at least have a separate network, a wifi network maybe, for these mobile devices and extreme care should be taken as regards the security of the devices used if at all they are attached to the enterprise network.


With the rise of IoT (Internet of Things), there are many businesses, especially smaller ones, that don’t pay attention to what all is connected to the enterprise network. Thus cyber-breaches become easy in such cases.

The passwords

Cyber criminals are always on the lookout for passwords that are easy to crack, ie, weak passwords. There are many small businesses who don’t bother much about passwords and their security. They go on with weak passwords and thus create security gaps that can be exploited by hackers or even insiders who want to steal data.

Callous, ignorant, dissatisfied employees

If the employees are ignorant about security and security measures to be followed, they could end up being callous and cause serious threats to the overall security. They would be clicking on phishing e-mails and bringing in malware or would be using devices that are not secured and thereby cause web security issues. Similarly, many employees working with small businesses end up being dissatisfied owing to many reasons. Such disgruntled employees could deliberately bring malware into the network and cause data breaches to happen.


PCI Compliance for Business

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