Small Businesses Underestimate Cybercrime Threat, Poll Shows

Small business owners do not feel that they are likely targets of cyber criminals, according to a poll conducted by the National Cyber Security Alliance of nearly 1,000 small business owners about their perceptions of cybercriminal activity and the impact on operations.

Surprisingly, 85 percent of respondents believe small businesses are less of a cybercrime target than large companies, while 54 percent believe that they are better prepared to secure sensitive customer and corporate data than large businesses. Eighty-four percent agree that they have the policies and procedures in place for keeping data and systems secure; yet, only 43 percent are confident that their businesses are protected against data thieves.

These results are in contrast to reports from security product vendors, such as Symantec and Sophos, that cyber attacks are increasing at alarming rates, especially when social networking and electronic communications enter the picture.

The combination of growing security threats and misperceptions are putting small businesses at risk and presenting an opportunity for solutions providers that can assist.

The NCSA poll also showed small businesses indicated an increased need for services such as training, background checks, mitigation and disaster recovery.

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