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Brad Cyprus On Cyber Attacks Against Small Business

With backing from organized crime and even hostile nation states, hackers are becoming a serious threat to Houston companies.


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Brad Cyprusin studio photo
Brad Cyprus, co-founder of Netsurion, a Houston-based IT security services company in the News 88.7 talk studio.


Cybercrime tends to draw the most attention when hackers hit a big corporation, like Target, or a government agency, like the federal Office of Personnel Management. But increasingly, hackers have been focusing their attention on small and midsize businesses. To find out why, Andrew Schneider of the Bauer Business Focus spoke with Brad Cyprus. Cyprus is co-founder of Netsurion, a Houston-based IT security services company.


Interview Highlights:

Why are small and midsize businesses attractive targets for hackers?

“Many of them process a lot of credit cards per square foot. For example, if you think about a small mom-and-pop restaurant, they have a lot of business per day considering how small their actual footprint is at their location. However, because they’re a mom-and-pop, they probably do not have the electronic security or the knowledge of how to keep their business secure.”

What can the cyberattack on HackingTeam, a company that itself provides tools for hackers, tell us about the extent of the threat?

“Hacking has become big business. It is sponsored by international crime rings … and some of them are even state-sponsored … Some of the most qualified and talented computer engineers in the world have dedicated themselves to breaking into systems. So, if you are not an expert in the field of protecting data, it is almost impossible to assume that a hacker will not get in.”

What can small and midsize firms do to protect themselves?

“If they’re a merchant, and they’re accepting credit cards … there is a standard out there that was designed to help a merchant know what they’re supposed to do to help them become compliant … the Payment Card Industry (PCI) data security standard. It’s possible to take that document and compare it to your operations to know how good is your security profile.”

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media's coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media's business reporter, covering the oil...

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