A Hillary Clinton Endorsed Startup Gets Hacked…And Other Small Business Tech News This Week

(This post originally appeared on Forbes)

Here are five things in technology that happened this past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

1 —Hillary Clinton endorsed a startup — and then it fell victim to a cyberattack.

In June, a new online hub to help Clinton enthusiasts find easy-to-share facts, stats, and other information to use on social media was launched, and, on September 3, Clinton tweeted her followers about it. However, soon after, the site fell victim to a significant, sophisticated cyberattack. (Source: Recode)

Why this is important for your business:

Basing your business on a celebrity may be a great way to get public attention – but it also subjects you to public attack, especially if the celebrity is controversial. The Internet is harsh, so make sure you’ve addressed the security issues affecting your website and social media accounts before launching.

2 — WhatsApp launches a customer service app.

On September 5, communications application WhatsApp – which is owned by Facebook – announced plans to launch an app that lets small businesses talk to customers. A software solution will also be made available so large companies, such as banks and airlines, can manage customer conversations and also share flight times, delivery notifications, and other updates. (Source: Venture Beat)

Why this is important for your business:

Yet another potentially powerful customer service tool for your business. WhatsApp is free and enormously popular with Millennials, GenZ and overseas consumers.

3 — The connected car of the future could kill off the local auto repair shop.

Within 3 years, it’s predicted that car manufacturers will be able to remotely monitor a vehicle’s health, predict what maintenance and repair work it needs, and diagnose its problems. Unfortunately, the advent of these “connected” cars could mean less work for traditional mechanics in local auto repair shops. (Source: Quartz)

Why this is important for your business:

If you’re in the auto repair business be aware of this coming tech trend. Will you have other services to potentially make up for the loss in revenues caused by “connected cars?”

4 — China bans all ICOs and digital currency launches as “illegal public financing”.

On September 4, the Chinese government banned all Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) after a ruling from China’s central bank criticized them for “disrupting” the country’s financial order. The regulator described initial coin offerings as “a form of unapproved illegal public financing” that “raises suspicions” of fraud and criminal activity. However, the regulation does not directly target bitcoin, the popular cryptocurrency. (Source: The Verge)

Why this is important for your business:

ICOs have been all the rage the past few months and are still legal in many parts of the world, including the U.S. But many governments are scrutinizing these transactions more closely – with some, like China, forbidding them altogether. Consider that before considering a digital offering.

5 —Hackers gain “switch-flipping” access to U.S. power systems.

On September 6, Symantec revealed a new campaign of attacks that targeted dozens of energy companies earlier this year. In more than 20 cases, the hackers successfully gained access to the companies’ networks, and, at a handful of U.S. power firms, hackers obtained control of the interfaces power company engineers use to send commands to equipment like circuit breakers, meaning hackers could stop the flow of electricity into U.S. homes and businesses. (Source: Wired)

Why this is important for your business:

Scary stuff – now our grid is hackable. Does your disaster plan include procedures if all power is cut off for weeks? And is it now clear that if hackers can gain access to the highly secure systems of large energy companies that it may be time or a security review of your own network?