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SMBs Safe From Cybercriminals!

July 2008 by Frédéric Donnette, Global Security Mag EFYTIMES

Questioning 500 IT decision makers in organisations in the US and Canada, McAfee’s new survey reveals a key misconception that many SMBs feel they are too small to be targets for cybercriminals. According to the report, 44 per cent think cybercrime is only an issue for larger organisations and believe it does not affect them; while 52 per cent of businesses believe that because they are not well-known so cybercriminals will not specifically target them.

Almost half (45 per cent) do not think they are a ’valuable target’ for cybercriminals, and 46 per cent do not think they can be a source of profit for cybercriminals. The report also says SMBs are allowing themselves to be vulnerable to IT attacks by failing to allocate an appropriate amount of time and resources to security. Almost half of SMBs (42 per cent) dedicate just one hour a week to proactive IT security management, despite the fact that almost one in five (21 per cent) acknowledged that an attack could put them out of business.

SMBs may not be as safe from security attacks as they think. Eighty-eight per cent of respondents believed they were ’adequately protected,’ yet 43 percent of them admitted that they simply accept the default settings on their IT equipment, settings which are often not in line with their specific business needs.

After sampling 500 IT decision-makers from companies with 1,000 - 2,000 employees, the report says that 32 per cent of small and medium businesses in the United States and Canada have been attacked more than four times by cybercriminals in the last three years.

The research concludes that a quarter of those attacked (26 per cent) took at least a week to recover, a devastating length of time to be offline for small businesses who conduct business and sales via the Web. Recovery time in Canada was even greater, with a third (36 per cent) taking a week or more to fully restore their systems.

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