Over the last few years, cybercrime has developed into a serious concern for the majority of businesses that use the Web to store or transmit their confidential information. Unfortunately, too few small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) take the necessary security steps to avoid falling victim to online predators.
In an effort to gain a better understanding of the level of cybercrime that the majority of SMBs face, Panda Security (News - Alert), a leading provider of cloud-based security solutions, recently conducted a comprehensive survey.
After polling nearly 10,000 SMBs – including 1,500 in the U.S. alone – the company found that nearly 46 percent of respondents acknowledged suffering at least one cybercrime attack during the first half of 2010, marking a 2 percent increase from last year’s survey.
Panda researchers also found that a surprising number of businesses are failing to implement proven online security measures. The survey revealed that 31 percent of SMBs are running their systems without anti-spam software, 23 percent don’t have active anti-spyware and 15 percent have no firewall.
“Many SMBs simply don't have the resources in terms of budget, time and human capital to devote to protecting their computers and sensitive data," said Sean-Paul Correll, researcher at PandaLabs.
"The study results are proof that IT service providers and vendors have an important role to play in educating small businesses on threats, and helping them determine the best way to protect themselves,” he added.
The survey’s most shocking finding may be the fact that 13 percent of small- and medium-sized businesses in the United States do not utilize any online security software whatsoever. Of this group, more than half said that they didn’t view Internet security as a “necessary” or “important” measure.
Meanwhile, results of a separate study conducted by Kindsight (News - Alert) suggest that individuals consider cybercrime to be a significant worry.
Of the 1,200 regular internet users who were polled, a total of 65 percent reported being heavily concerned about having their bank account, credit card or other personal information breached by an outsider.
Beecher Tuttle is a Web Editor for TMCnet. He has extensive experience writing and editing for print publications and online news websites. He has specialized in a variety of industries, including health care technology, politics and education. He received his bachelor's degree in English from the University of Colorado.
Edited by Beecher Tuttle