What Hackers can do with your personal data (it’s not good)

Don’t Let Your Business Fall Victim!

It’s time to face the music: small businesses are increasingly at risk of falling victim to cyberattacks and data breaches. 

Hackers are no longer creepy people in hoodies. Well-funded and wide-scale organizations are making money exploiting personal information. When these groups gain access to your data, there can be immediate and long-term repercussions. 

For small businesses, the implications can be even more far-reaching, as both employee and client data are at stake, and businesses can be held liable for the damage. 

The first stage to combatting this IT nightmare is acceptance. 

Once we acknowledge the reality of what hackers can do with personal information, we can take steps to mitigate it! 

Here’s what can happen when a hacker gets hold of you or your clients’ details: 

1. Identity Theft: Hackers can use stolen personal information such as social security numbers and birthdates to impersonate individuals and commit identity theft. Hackers may open fraudulent credit card accounts, apply for loans, or make unauthorized insurance claims. Identity theft can damage your credit score, drain your resources, and cause significant emotional distress.

2. Financial Fraud: Personal information such as credit card numbers and bank account details is a goldmine for hackers. With this information, hackers can make unauthorized transactions, transfer funds, and engage in online shopping sprees (midnight pizza runs, we see you) at the expense of their victims. 

3. Phishing Attacks: Once a hacker has your personal information, convincing phishing emails get easier to write. Hackers will use social engineering tactics (like pretending to be your boss or naming a real place you used to work) to trick individuals into divulging additional sensitive information or installing malware on their devices. 

4. Blackmail and Ransomware: Hackers may use stolen personal information to blackmail individuals, threatening to expose sensitive or embarrassing information unless a ransom is paid. Blackmail and extortion can have devastating consequences for both individuals and businesses, leading to reputational damage, legal repercussions, and financial losses. 

5. Legal Consequences: Data breaches can result in severe legal consequences for small businesses, including regulatory fines and lawsuits. In addition to financial penalties, businesses may suffer long-term consequences such as loss of customer trust and increased scrutiny from regulatory authorities.

6. Selling PII on the Dark Web: Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is one of the hottest commodities on the Dark Web. Lists of millions of sets of credentials, social security numbers, and insurance information are bought, sold, and given away every day. The minute a data breach happens, you can assume the information will be traded where other threat actors can access it.

The second stage is to strengthen your cybersecurity and protect yourself from threats.

Once you’re aware of the damage hackers can cause, it’s time to take steps to protect yourself and your business

By implementing robust cybersecurity measures and IT solutions, businesses can safeguard sensitive information and prevent unauthorized access. Moreover, prioritizing data privacy and security fosters trust and loyalty among customers, enhancing the overall resilience and reputation of the business in the face of evolving cyber threats.

At Stratti, we offer a free 15-minute cybersecurity assessment as an easy way to get a better understanding of your vulnerabilities and where hackers can get to your business. From there, we’ll make a plan together to protect your data.