JPMorgan Chase Hack: 7 Million Small Businesses At Risk?

So, you've built a small business but you want to feel like an enterprise? Perhaps JPMorgan Chase can help you -- by exposing your small business to an enterprise-class technology breach. Interested? Here are the potentially painful details.

According to a JPMorgan filing with the SEC, disclosed Oct. 2, 2014:

  • User contact information – name, address, phone number and email address – and internal JPMorgan Chase information relating to such users have been compromised.
  • The compromised data impacts approximately 76 million households and 7 million small businesses.
  • However, there is no evidence that account information for such affected customers – account numbers, passwords, user IDs, dates of birth or Social Security numbers – was compromised during this attack.
  • As of such date, the Firm continues not to have seen any unusual customer fraud related to this incident.
  • JPMorgan Chase customers are not liable for unauthorized transactions on their account that they promptly alert the Firm to.
  • The Firm continues to vigilantly monitor the situation and is continuing to investigate the matter. In addition, the Firm is fully cooperating with government agencies in connection with their investigations.

So, the good news/bad news: JPMorgan hasn't spotted any unusual activity from the breach. The bad news: Can you trust JPMorgan's word, after the company failed to prevent such a breach in the first place?

Or let me put it another way: I still see plenty of information on JPMorgan Chase's website about the "Small Business Forward" initiative. Now, I'd like JPMorgan to make it just as easy to find information updates about the hack on their website. The company is set to announce Q3 financial results on Oct. 14, 2014. Perhaps then we'll get another update about the breach.

In the meantime, small businesses dealing with JPMorgan should watch their financial statements closely.

And a closing side note: Why do I feel like hacks at JPMorgan, Home Depot, Target and other locations are all part of something larger, more ominous? It's as if our digital enemies are poking and prodding around U.S. IT systems -- looking for a common hole to launch something bigger. I hope I'm wrong.