NEW YORK — Large companies have been in the news lately because of far-reaching data breaches, but small businesses should also be mindful of hackers, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Computer and website attacks can be costly, said the article. Small companies may have to spend thousands or millions of dollars to resolve the issue.

Cyber attacks on smaller companies are not unheard of. The article noted that 44 percent of small businesses have been attacked.

When an attack happens businesses usually have a computer expert find the source of the attack. Systems also have to be purged of the harmful software like viruses, shared the article. Sometimes websites need to be shut down.

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Nearly every state requires companies to notify people when information has been compromised, reported the article. Companies must pay to notify each person affected, and businesses are often advised to pay for credit report monitoring for these customers.

Many businesses are not prepared for an attack because they believe they cannot afford to invest in the right software and consulting services to make their systems more secure, explained the article. Attacks can happen from seemingly harmless sources, and businesses can be caught unaware.

The article also included several tips to help businesses that do suffer attacks like: Buy insurance to help cover financial losses; install free anti-virus and anti-malware software; and use an email provider with proper security systems.

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