Bull's-eye on Small Business

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In May, a “ransomware” attack locked up the data of more than 230,000 computers in over 150 countries around the world. Using a computer virus called WannaCry, hackers held the data for ransom, demanding their victims make payments of $300 each in bitcoin, a difficult to trace digital currency.

The incident was just the latest example of the large-scale business breaches that grabbed headlines in the U.S. and abroad.

In the same month that attack occurred, the giant retailer Target announced that it had reached an $18.5 million settlement with 47 states and the District of Columbia to resolve investigations into a 2013 breach that affected 41 million customers.

In March, two Russian intelligence officers and two hackers were charged in a Yahoo data breach affecting at least 1 billion user accounts.

Closer to home, MedStar Health, based in Columbia, Md., last year suffered a cyberattack that forced it to turn away patients and shut down computers at hospitals and other facilities.

Large businesses have beefed up their security in recent years. As a result, hackers increasingly are preying upon smaller companies that may not have robust cyber defenses.

How vulnerable are Virginia businesses to cyberattack risks?