SMBs need to take cyber security more seriously, study shows

Data securityAccording to a new study, a large proportion of small business owners in the United States are laboring under a misapprehension regarding the true state of cyber security. More than three-fourths of respondents indicated on the survey that their own business can be classified as “safe” from the threats that exist in the current cyber environment. If this were actually the case, it would be excellent news because it would mean that most small businesses had already enacted robust measures to ensure data security and integrity.

Unfortunately, however, the same survey indicates that 83% of respondents lack any formalized plan for cybersecurity needs. This means that small business owners and managers are taking some measures to fight against malware such as viruses, worms, bots, and Trojans, but these measures may be lacking in several key regards. A program without a true plan is often carried out on a haphazard basis that leaves large sectors of an organization vulnerable to threats. Just as importantly, organizations without a robust and consistently enforced cyber security plan are poorly positioned to respond effectively to the constantly changing threat environment that is a reality in the modern business world.

The survey in question, released this week, comes from the National Cyber Security Alliance and involved more than a thousand small and medium-sized businesses in the United States. The timing of the report’s release is not coincidental; October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, a time during which businesses of all sizes should review their current plans and procedures in an effort to improve their ability to maintain full business continuity even in the face of emerging cyber threats.

We want U.S. small businesses to understand they cannot completely remain safe from cyber threats if they do not take the necessary precautions,” explained NCSA Executive Director Michael Kaiser. “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.”

Robust protection requires the advice and assistance of computer safety specialists and can be provided as part of an overall managed services model of IT support.

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