OTTO Pizza data breach highlights small business risk

By Erin Ayers on August 25, 2014

ottopizzaOTTO Pizza experienced a data breach at its two Portland, Maine, locations and the company warned others that businesses of all sizes could find themselves hit by hackers.

“It seems every day there is a report of another credit card data breach in the news,” OTTO’s marketing director of communications Eric Shepherd stated on the pizza chain’s blog. “It’s [a] strange phenomenon that our society has become somewhat numb to the incessant announcements of compromised data at behemoths like Target, UPS, and TJ Maxx, yet so many small businesses think that they’re immune.”

OTTO estimated that the breach affected only about 900 customers who used their credit or debit cards in the Portland restaurants. The company has six other locations in Maine and Massachusetts that were not affected.

While a small business, OTTO noted that it took many precautions to protect its customers’ data, including monitoring software, scans for viruses and other security steps. However, hackers still accessed the system.

“While the breach is much smaller than those suffered by other regional businesses (Hannafords, Shaw’s, etc.), it hits closer to home when it happens to smaller businesses founded, owned, and operated right in one’s own community. While the breach is believed to have affected only 3% of the credit cards used by dine-in and take-out customers (delivery customers were not affected) at our two Portland locations, it is a stark reminder that no target is too small for hackers,” said Shepherd.'

Erin is the managing editor of Advisen’s Front Page News. She has been covering property-casualty insurance since 2000. Previously, Erin served as editor-in-chief of The Standard, New England’s Insurance Weekly. Erin is based in Boston, Mass. Contact Erin at [email protected].