Survey: Cyber Crime Concerns Remain Low Among SMBs

By | Oct 25, 2012

Cyber crime is becoming more rampant as hackers discover new ways to steal information. These days the valuable new target is small and midsize businesses. However, a new study by Symantec and the National Cyber Security Alliance found that more than three-quarters of U.S. based small and midsize businesses have a false sense of security and digital protection and that most of them don't have a written security policy for their employees.

Lack of Security

The survey's results, published recently in an article on CopperEgg, polled more than 1,000 small and midsize businesses. The results found that 73 percent do believe secure digital environments are important for server and website performance as well as maintaining a strong reputation. However, a whopping 66 percent are not concerned about cyber threats, while another 59 percent have no contingency plans to mitigate challenges if a data breach were to occur.

These results show there's a lack of knowledge about security among small and midsize businesses. They need to be doing their best to ensure their precious data is as safe as possible from hackers. The fact that poor security could be the cause of a security breach is an expensive and time-consuming risk.

The study also revealed that 87 percent of small and midsize businesses do not have a written formal Internet security policy and another 69 percent don't have an informal policy.

The Affect on SMBs

With the lack of care and attention to security measure and updates, small and midsize businesses take a costly risk and that can harm the core of the business by turning off consumers and partners who don't believe their data will be safe within the company.

Without policies in place, formal or informal, any employee can jeopardize the security of an organization. Without proper guidance for staff, only the small and midsize business can be at fault. According to the article, almost 40 percent of the more than 1 billion cyber attacks against small and midsize businesses were actually prevented when Symantec was implemented for security measures in the first three months of 2012.

With the emergence of bring-your-own-device policies and cloud computing solutions, small and midsize businesses must adhere to proper safety measures and guidelines to prevent the worst from happening. As the cyber crime landscape becomes more advanced, small and midsize businesses will become even more coveted targets in the IT world. Hackers understand that many of them simply aren't worried, and they are willing to pick a lot of low-hanging fruit. Small and midsize business should prevent that outcome with the right tools and policies. Their data is too valuable and so are their clients. Therefore, keeping that very data safe should be top of mind--at all times.

This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

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