Small to medium American firms are increasingly becoming targets for hackers, and it’s driving many of them out of business, according to a panel of cybersecurity experts who spoke to the House Small Business Committee. Sixty percent of hacked small to medium businesses are forced to go out of business within six months of being breached, Angela Dingle, founder of IT government consulting firm Ex Nihilo, told the committee. Additionally, 60 percent of all online attacks in 2014 targeted small to medium businesses, Timothy Francis, enterprise leader of cyber insurance at Travelers, told the New York Times earlier this year. Dingle and other witnesses at the Wednesday hearing urged committee chairman Chairman Steve Chabot, R-Ohio, to explore new solutions and to pursue action. “The innovative small businesses that are key engines of job growth and investment in our economy… must confront the very real threats we face in cyberspace,” testified Jamil Jaffer, director of the homeland and national law program at George Mason University School of Law. “Hard targets [for hackers] are going to be bypassed, I know, because there are plenty of weak targets out there. So, how do we get this message across to our small business owners in a way they can understand; that you can’t afford to be a soft target,” questioned Rep. Trent Kelly, R-Miss. Justin Zeefe, co-founder of cybersecurity consulting firm the Nisos Group, told the House committee that most small to medium business owners won’t understand the growing risk of cyberattacks until they actually see other companies fail.