SMBs Downplay Web Threats

Seven out of 10 small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) report being hit with a virus or spyware infection, but continue to underestimate the consequences of those attacks. This disturbing conclusion comes from a recently released report entitled "State of Internet Security: Protecting Small and Medium Businesses" conducted by anti-virus vendor Webroot.

SMBs make up the majority of the world's businesses, accounting for more than 99.5 percent of the survey's respondents. Since they make up the bulk of the business world, they're frequent targets for online criminals. Several other factors increase their collective risk:

  • Pervasive Internet use; 77 percent said their success depends on the Internet
  • Home-based and remote workers; as much as 52 percent of new businesses are home-based or remote
  • Lack of in-house security expertise
  • Limited budget and resource constraints
  • Keeping pace with a mobile workforce
  • Lack of policies managing personal use of work computers
  • Increasing volume of sensitive customer and employee data
  • A rapidly evolving threat landscape

In general, the report revealed a misperception and low sense of awareness of online threats. While companies fear and prepare for virus attacks, spyware is actually the more significant problem.

The State of Internet Security report is a quarterly analysis of current security concerns, with each focusing on a specific aspect of security. The survey results come from companies in six countries: Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. You can find the full report at http://www.webroot.com/sois.

Budget constraints or blissful ignorance on the part of those seven out of 10 SMBs? How do you protect your SMB or larger enterprise? What's your greatest Web-borne concern? Clue me in at llow@redmondmag.com.

Posted by Lafe Low on 10/17/2007 at 1:23 PM


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