Survey: SMBs not concerned about cybersecurity

According to the results of a survey recently conducted by the National Cyber Security Alliance and Symantec, an overwhelming majority of small and medium-sized business owners are not concerned about threats facing their companies from cyber space.

Of the more than 1,000 small business owners surveyed, 77 percent said they believed their company was safe from hackers, viruses, malware or a data breach, despite the fact that 83 percent of respondents reported that the had no formal cybersecurity plan in place.

"We want U.S.small businesses to understand they cannot completely remain safe from cyber threats if they do not take the necessary precautions," said Michael Kaiser, executive director of the National Cyber Security Alliance in a statement. "A data breach or hacking incident can really harm SMBs and unfortunately lead to a lack of trust from consumers, partners and suppliers. Small businesses must make plans to protect their businesses from cyber threats and help employees stay safe online."

Among some of the survey’s other findings included:

  • Nearly six out of ten (59 percent) of SMBs do not have a contingency plan in place that outlines procedures for responding to or reporting data loss breaches.
  • A majority of SMBs (66 percent) are not even concerned about cyber threats, be it external or internal.     
  • Eighty-seven percent of SMBs do not have a formal written Internet security policy for their employees and 69 percent do not even have an informal policy. Seventy percent of do not have a policy for employee social media use.

"It’s terrifying that the majority ofU.S.small businesses believe their information is protected, yet so many do not have the required policies or protection in place to remain safe," said Brian Burch, vice president of Americas Marketing for SMB at Symantec. "Almost 40 percent of the over 1 billion cyber attacks Symantec prevented in the first three months of 2012 targeted companies with less than 500 employees.  And for the small, poorly protected companies that suffer an attack, it’s often fatal to their business." 

For more information or to download the entire survey, visit http://www.staysafeonline.org/stay-safe-online/resources/.

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