It's the nightmare scenario that every business fears: having your systems hacked and data stolen. It's bad enough if it's the company's own sensitive information, such as trade secrets. But it can be even worse when it's your customers' data - especially credit card information - that's exposed. Thousands of angry victims of identity theft who no longer trust doing business with you can ruin a reputation fast.
That's what happened to Subway sandwich shops all over the U.S., whose credit card payments for their food have been siphoned off from the company's Point of Sale systems for a period of years, going back at least to 2008. An estimated $3 million in fraudulent charges was the result. And experts say this is the "crime of the future" so any business that accepts credit card payments needs to be aware of the risk and how to protect against it.