Survey: SMBs Remain Blissfully Unfazed by Cyberthreats

More than three quarters of small business owners claim their companies are safe from cyber attacks, yet only 17 percent of those businesses have implemented a formal cybersecurity plan.This is just one of many problems for small businesses in the digital realm, according to a joint survey (.PDF) released by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and security firm Symantec this week.

More than three quarters of small business owners claim their companies are safe from cyber attacks, yet only 17 percent of those businesses have implemented a formal cybersecurity plan.

This is just one of many problems for small businesses in the digital realm, according to a joint survey (.PDF) released by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and security firm Symantec this week.

SMB owners appear to be conscious of the ongoing threats and malware that affect their companies, yet remain largely unfazed by them. While approximately 75 percent of owners believe in a safe and trusted internet and that a safe online environment is necessary for success, of the roughly 1,000 small businesses nationwide that were polled in the survey, 66 percent are not concerned by cyber threats.

The report highlights a few other discrepancies, particularly a lack of preparedness when it comes to dealing within social media; 70 percent responded they do not have a social media security policy. Also, 87 percent of small businesses surveyed don’t have a written cybersecurity plan and 69 percent don’t have an Internet security policy.

In another part of the report, Visa Inc. claims that 90 percent of the payment data breaches disclosed to them are from small businesses. These findings are in line with a survey conducted earlier this year that found that 85 percent of SMBs were convinced a data breach against their company was unlikely. Those survey results, similiar to this week’s, found that business owners were ill-prepared and that less than half of those polled adopted best practices to reduce the risk of an attack.

The NCSA/Symantec study was released as part of October’s National Cyber Security Awareness Month, an effort commissioned by the Obama administration and the Department of Homeland Security, currently in its ninth year.

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