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Is Cybersecurity a Big Issue for Small Businesses?

In a new survey, more than three-fourths (77 percent) of U.S. small business owners say their company is safe from cyber threats such as hackers, viruses, malware or a cybersecurity breach, and 83 percent have no formal cybersecurity plan.

These findings are from a survey released today, Oct. 15, of 1,015 U.S. small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and Symantec.

This annual survey is being released in conjunction with National Cyber Security Awareness Month, a coordinated national effort focused on improving online safety and security for all Americans.

In another survey, one out of two (48 percent) small business owners say they are currently “worse off” compared to 2007, when the recession officially began, while only 26 percent claim they are “better off.” (Read: U.S. Small Business Outlook Depressing)

Meanwhile, our site RMN Digital has launched Tech-Wise Knowledge Center for SMBs to educate SMBs across the world on the finer nuances of technology selection, adoption, and management. (Visit: Tech-Wise Knowledge Center for SMBs)

Also, Cybergeddon is a motion picture event which brings to life the growing threat of cybercrime. It’s a joint production of Anthony E. Zuiker – the creator of the CSI franchise and his production company Dare to Pass – and Yahoo!. (Read: Cybergeddon Unleashed in the Threatened Cyberspace)

The NCSA-Symantec survey findings reveal some disparities such as the need for establishing Internet security policies and practices, handling and responding to data breaches, and providing consistent IT/security management at their businesses.

Although SMBs increasingly rely on the Internet for daily operations, the survey reveals they are not taking the necessary measures to keep their businesses safe and secure:

  • A Majority of SMBs Believe Security Is Critical to Their Success and Brand: Seventy-three percent of SMBs say a safe and trusted Internet is critical to their success, and 77 percent say a strong cybersecurity and online safety posture is good for their company’s brand.
  • SMBs Unprepared to Handle Data Breach Losses: Nearly six out of 10 (59 percent) SMBs do not have a contingency plan outlining procedures for responding and reporting data breach losses.
  • Two-thirds of SMBs Aren’t Concerned About Cyber Threats: Sixty-six percent of SMBs are not concerned about cyber threats – either external or internal. External threats include a hacker or cyber-criminal stealing data while internal threats include an employee, ex-employee, or contractor/consultant stealing data.

“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.

JZ Analytics conducted the small business survey from September 27–29, 2012. The survey firm surveyed 1,015 U.S. small businesses (less than 250 employees) across the United States.

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