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Small businesses warned of cyberattacks as holiday season approaches

Last year, cybercrime targeting small businesses reached a record-high of $2.4 billion, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration.

NORFOLK, Va. — As we make our way into the holiday season, hackers are hard at work targeting small to large businesses. 

The U.S. Small Business Administration warns that cyberattacks may grow this year. A spokesperson said that last year, cybercrime targeting small businesses reached a record-high of $2.4 billion.

"With online sales expected to surpass $1 trillion, retailers must evaluate their vulnerabilities to cyberattacks and protect their systems. Small businesses are especially attractive targets because they typically lack the security infrastructure of large corporations," the spokesperson said.

“They had no reason to attack us. They just found us and got a hold of us," said Hanbury CEO David Keith. 

Keith said his architecture company had a cyber threat about six months ago. Luckily, he said the company's cyber security team protected important information and they didn't have any issues.

Greg Tomchick is a cyber security expert in Hampton Roads for a business called Valorr Cybersecurity.  

“We continue to see businesses become victims and see cyber threats materialize in their business," said Tomchick.

Tomchick said anyone who shops at a store or online should check their bank statements.

"Amazon kind of creates a pool of products and sometimes you don't see the seller. So as you go or you're doing your shopping, mainly things online, make sure your vigilant, make sure you understand the implications of clicking on links," said Tomchick. 

Adrian Dews said he’s always watching out for cyberattacks in his small business.

“We’ve experienced shutdowns but those are extremely minor," said Dews. 

Dews started his online sports betting company, Chxmpionchip, a few years ago. He said he knows the importance of keeping cyber criminals out of his business.

“They’ll be able to steal all of our data, and they can potentially tap into the company accounts and the user's accounts," said Dews. 

Tomchick said business owners and customers can stay protected by having strong passwords and multi-factor authentication.

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