It has been several months down the road, and only recently was it reported (although not widely) that the ultimate source of the Target Stores’ breach – that caused millions of people to be potentially exposed to cyber theft, identity theft, and fraud – was a HVAC contractor in Pittsburg and which had connected to Target’s software or hardware that allowed for maintenance of a sort.
I’m not smart enough to understand why a HVAC (heating, ventilation & air conditioning) contractor was linking itself to Target’s cyber systems, but the experts are saying that’s the source.
Wonder if they also serviced Neiman Marcus. But, I digress.
I wonder what the HVAC contractor’s liability is in this entire calamity? They hopefully were a large enough outfit to have cyber insurance protection and seriously high limits.
But, who would have “thunk it”: A contractor! While I suspect, again, that this was a large outfit and may have had a million or two in cyber protection (and not nearly enough), I bet most contractors, most store owners, most office owners still don’t want to believe they have a cyber exposure at all.
Yet, I think that this event pretty much blew that boat out of the water.
Everyone has a cyber liability exposure, even adults who spin yarns on Facebook. There are several studies, which have come out as of late, that point to the American business community not really taking this very seriously. But, this exposure is very real; just ask the HVAC contractor in Pittsburg.
It’s more or less up to each business owner to decide how to handle the exposure. Most ignore it; some buy smaller amounts of insurance. None believe they have much of an exposure.
What business will be the next to fall? Just keep your eye on the evening news.