PCI SSC webcast to highlight risk of small business data breaches

During National Small Business Week, the PCI SSC will offer a free webcast Thursday to draw attention to the risk of small business data breaches.

The organization behind the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard will hold an event this week to raise awareness of the ongoing risk of small business data breaches.

Thursday the PCI Security Standards Council (SSC) is sponsoring a free webcast offering basic security tips for small businesses to protect against payment card fraud.

The webcast, "What's Your Password? Security basics for small businesses," will focus on tips and resources that small businesses can use to help prevent criminals from sneaking into their payment systems and accessing valuable customer information.

The SSC is looking to capitalize on this week's National Small Business Week media event, an initiative by the U.S. Small Business Administration recognizing "the critical contributions of America's entrepreneurs and small business owners" to the U.S. economy.

According to the most recent Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR), small business data breaches remain common. Of the nearly 150 retail data breaches cited in the 2014 DBIR, almost a quarter of them were confirmed to have occurred at businesses with less than 1,000 employees. The 2014 DBIR cites nearly 250 breaches resulting in data loss at small businesses last year.

The SSC will offer free access to its PCI Awareness eLearning training to the first 500 webinar registrants. The non-certification training offering is a four-hour online course to introduce merchants to the tenants of PCI DSS compliance and how PCI supports payment data security.

"We understand that payment security is not top of mind for many of these companies. But when small businesses suffer a breach it keeps them from focusing on what they do best -- running their business." said Bob Russo, general manager of the PCI SSC in a statement. "We hope that through this initiative we can make them aware of some simple steps they can start with to help protect their customers' payment data and their business."

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