For at least a decade, organized crime groups around the world, but particularly in Eastern Europe, have been honing their hacking skills in a bid to capture our credit card and bank account numbers. Increasingly, they’re targeting restaurant franchises and other small businesses by hacking their point-of-sale checkout systems, which are often woefully insecure.
Restaurants were easily the most-targeted businesses, accounting for over half of all reported attacks. Retail stores were second, at about 20 percent. The findings are consistent with those of a similar report released earlier this year by Trustwave, an information security company, which found that the food and beverage, retail, and hospitality industries combine to account for 80 percent of data breaches.
Why are small businesses such frequent targets? Because they offer hackers the easiest path to your financial information. In fact, security consultants say, there’s an entire underground industry built around extracting customers’ credit card numbers from retailers’ point-of-sale systems.