Today's consumer has become more dependent on technology than ever. We use our gadgets to do a large variety of tasks and type in our debit and credit card numbers to pay for goods or services. While this activity may seem harmless, that is the same reason why business owners should be wary: the FBI believes more groups or individuals will work on stealing personal information from an electronic source.
Retailers are especially at risk in 2014 because over 100 million customers have been affected by data breaches, which means this industry needs to do more to protect its customers and assets.
"Everybody we work with in the retail space is scared to death because they don't have a lot of defenses to prepare against these types of attacks," an anonymous disaster recovery consultant told Reuters. "This is not just based on anybody saying 'This is going to happen.' This is based on statistical data that the FBI is seeing."
Recently, the FBI released a report on the current situation, advising any business that uses a point-of-sale system to do more to protect their card readers and registers. The malware the scammers used on Target's systems made it easy for them to access this information because a lot of it isn't encrypted.
PC World contributor Tony Bradley said he believes that the installation of scrambling software and firewalls can reduce the likelihood of such incidents, but nowadays retailers need to go beyond these measures.
"[A] combined effort between retailers, banks, and customers could significantly reduce the opportunity for data breaches such as these," Bradley wrote.
Business continuity consultants who specialize in disaster recovery planning can help coordinate these efforts, as well as develop a plan that would expedite communication between these parties if suspicious activity was detected.