Posted April 20, 2020
The COVID-19 government-mandated shutdowns have impacted small business owners across the country. To help keep these businesses afloat, the Small Business Administration opened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan for qualifying companies. However, for some 100 business owners who applied, they faced yet another hardship, exposure of their data.
According to Newsday, for those business owners who used the online portal to apply for the disaster loan in late March, their information including names, birth dates, and Social Security numbers, was exposed to other users. This loan is not related to the payment protection plan created by the federal stimulus package that offers eligible businesses up to $10 million in lending.
While the agency is unsure of how long the personal information had been exposed, they are offering those impacted with free credit monitoring for a year.
This data breach could not have come at a worse time for these small business owners who are already targets for cybercrimes as they do not have the resources in many cases to protect themselves from threats such as malware, virus, phishing, and ransomware.
While the Small Business Administration has remedied the portal issue, what about the damage done to those small business owners who are already facing hardship?
How to Manage Cybersecurity Threats During COVID-19
While you hope to never experience a data breach, the reality is, it can happen to any company, of any size. According to the Bank of America Merchant Services Third Annual Small Business Spotlight, 21% of small businesses reported a data breach within the last two years, with 41% of those who were victimized by the breach, being hit with a cost of more than $50,000 to recover. And during an economic downturn such as that of COVID-19, small business owners do not have the resources to combat such a crime.
To protect your business, there are ways you can manage cybersecurity threats to protect yourself and employees from harm.
- Information sharing. To combat data breach risks, the information being shared amongst the business must be in the hands of the right people. You need to establish company plans if a breach is to occur and how you want this information to be shared amongst stakeholders.
- Prepared. While you may not have the budget for a top of the line security and IT support, there is something you can do to protect your business. This includes credit monitoring, password protection, security updates, and company-wide training.
Right now, the last thing you need to worry about is your personal information being leaked. If you were one of the businesses impacted by the Small Business Administration data breach, and you have experienced cyber-attacks following, do not wait to get help.
Contact the COVID-19 data breach lawyers today.
If your personal information was compromised while applying for the Small Business Administration COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan, contact us today. Your business is your livelihood. Let us help you regain control.
Posted in COVID-19.