New research from security provider Norton by Symantec reveals the lack of information among small business owners in terms of protecting themselves against cybercrime.
According to research, only 29% out of all the small businesses that were surveyed are aware of the steps they need to take in order to improve the security of their company online and fight against data breaches. Out of those small businesses, only 28% have contingency plans in the event of any unwanted breach.
In general, small business owners spend very little time coming up with a data security breach response plan, averaging just two days a year and 14 minutes per day spent thinking about the company’s data security.
The greatest vulnerability of these small businesses lies in mobile devices. Why? Because even if virtually all of these companies have cybersecurity systems installed on their desktops and laptops, only a disappointing 60 percent of them have the same level of protection on their smart phones and tablets.
The research also found that small businesses have an average spend of $749 per year on security software products – this figure amounting to only a third of what is spent on entertaining customers year after year.
The previous year was disastrous for US-based companies such as Neiman Marcus, Home Depot, Dairy Queen, Sony, and many others after falling victim to high-profile data breaches, costing millions of dollars in lost revenue.
According to research, if these security issues are to be taken as an indication of things to come in the world of cybercrime, it is imperative that small businesses make Internet security a top priority. With the arrival of fast Internet in the country and more businesses getting on the National Broadband Network through NBN Wireless Providers, the same can be applied in Australia. There is no better time than today to get started on raising cybersecurity.
Norton has come up with a few tips on how businesses can boost cybersecurity.
- Take preventive measures and have proactive protection systems set up.
- Set automatic security updates to lower the risk of malware getting into and spreading in the network.
- Use wireless encryption.
- Regularly change passwords.
400 small business leaders (owners, CEOs, partners, presidents, directors, and managing directors) participated in the study and answered the survey. The participating businesses fell under different industries, varied in size and had somewhere between 6 to 49 employees.