Small Businesses Underestimate Security Threats

In July, McAfee released the results of a survey which showed that many of small businesses owners feel that they are unassailable when it comes to hackers. Often they think, "hey, we only have one server" or "we only have 12 computers, we're not big enough for hackers to be interested in". Big Mistake!  Basically, a hacker who installs malicious software on computers through the Internet without the owners’ knowledge is looking for any computer that can be abused for click frauds, sending spam, etc. They don’t care whom the computer belongs to.

According to the report, there’s a gap between what small businesses perceive as security issues and the realities of cyber attacks.  The survey (which polled 500 companies with 1,000 employees or less) found that for every eight firms, only 10 employees were dedicated to managing the businesses' information-technology systems.  While most small- and medium-sized companies believe that they operate under cybercriminals' radar, the study found that one-in-five firms have been attacked. 

Beliefs of SMB's:

  • Too small to matter: 44 percent think cybercrime is only an issue for larger organizations and believe it does not affect them
  • Not all in a name: 52 percent of businesses believe that because they are not well-known so cybercriminals will not specifically target them
  • Undervaluing can be costly: Almost half (45 percent) do not think they are a 'valuable target' for cybercriminals
  • Monetary misconceptions: 46 percent do not think they can be a source of profit for cybercriminals

In comparison to larger organizations, attacks can be even more catastrophic as SMBs often don’t have the resources or funds to build contingency plans. If a resource goes down, a business often goes down with it. North America’s SMBs are leaving themselves open to attack due to time constraints. In order to be more proactive about security, it’s a good idea to look into products like McAfee Total Protection for Small Business. This product can benefit SMBs — as I previously blogged about — and protect their company from Spam, phishing, viruses, and hackers

About the Author: Robert Peek