MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA, Nov. 16, 2011 /CNW/ - Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC)
today announced the findings of its 2011 SMB Threat Awareness Poll, which revealed that while awareness is high, SMBs don't consider
themselves targets of cyberattacks. As a result, they are not
implementing the proper safeguards to protect their information. The
SMB Threat Awareness Poll examined the awareness levels of small and
medium sized businesses (SMBs) regarding the dangers of security
threats, and how well they are prepared to defend against them. This
global survey also included 500 Canadian respondents from Vancouver,
Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal.
"Our research shows that SMBs are quite vulnerable to cyberattacks, and
it's more important than ever for them to take steps to keep their
information safe," said Steve Cullen, senior vice president of
Worldwide Marketing for SMB and .Cloud for Symantec Corp. "Even with
tight budgets and limited resources, simple changes such as education
and best practices can significantly strengthen an SMB's security
approach to cyberattacks."
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SMBs are familiar with security threats
The survey shows that more than half of SMBs are familiar with many
different security threats to the business, including targeted attacks,
keystroke logging, and the risks that come with using smartphones for
company business. More than half (54 percent) stated that malware would
cause a loss of productivity, and 36 percent recognized that hackers
could gain access to proprietary information. In addition, respondents
said a targeted attack would impact the business. Forty-six percent
stated that a targeted attack would cause a revenue loss and 20 percent
said it would drive customers away.
SMBs don't see themselves as targets
Surprisingly, although SMBs know the dangers of cyberattacks, they don't
feel they are at risk. In fact, half of SMBs think that because they
are a small company, they aren't in danger - it's primarily large
enterprises that have to worry about attacks. This is in direct
contrast to the evidence. According to data from Symantec.cloud, since
the beginning of 2010, 40 percent of all targeted attacks have been
directed at companies with fewer than 500 employees, compared to only
28 percent directed at large enterprises.
SMBs not taking action
Because SMBs don't see themselves as targets, many of them are failing
to take basic precautions to protect their information. While
two-thirds restrict who has login information, a shocking 63 percent
don't secure machines used for online banking and 9 percent don't take
any additional precautions for online banking. More than half (61
percent) don't use antivirus on all desktops, and 47 percent don't use
security on mail servers/services.
Canadian SMBs lacking security focus
The survey found a slight advantage for SMBs in Canada as 61 percent of
respondents reported feeling somewhat or completely protected against
computer threats, compared to 58 percent of SMBs globally. Canadian
SMBs polled said they are aware of the key security threats to their
business including DDoS attacks (59 percent), shortened URLs (58
percent), risks from smartphone use (66 percent) and targeted attacks
However, almost half of Canadian SMBs (49 percent) feel they are not the
targets for these types of attacks because they operate a smaller
business. This apathy could leave them vulnerable as the report
displays key areas of concern to business owners and security
professionals. When it comes to DDoS attacks, 22 percent felt it was
only a concern for large companies, while 17 percent didn't have a plan
in place in case of an attack. Sixty-seven percent of businesses do not
secure machines used for a company's online banking and eight percent
of Canadian respondents do not have any precautions around the use of a
company's online bank account.
In order to keep sensitive corporate information safe, there are several
simple practices SMBs can follow to protect against cyberattacks.
Educate employees: Develop Internet security guidelines and educate employees about
Internet safety, security and the latest threats. Part of the training
should focus on the importance of regularly changing passwords and
protecting mobile devices.
Assess your security status: SMBs are facing increased risks to their confidential information, so
safeguarding data is critical. One data breach could mean financial
ruin for an SMB. Know what you need to protect. It's important to
understand your risks and security gaps so that you can take steps to
protect your information.
Take action: Be proactive and develop a security plan. Consider items such as
password policies, endpoint protection, the security of email and Web
assets, and encryption. You should also evaluate whether on-premise or
a hosted service would best suit the needs of your organization.
Symantec's 2011 SMB Threat Awareness Poll
Applied Research fielded this survey by telephone in September 2011.
They spoke with 1,900 organizations worldwide, including 500 Canadian
respondents from Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. Of
the organizations surveyed, 25 percent came from businesses with 5 to
49 employees, 25 percent came from businesses with 50 to 99 employees,
25 percent came from businesses with 100 to 249 employees, and 25
percent came from businesses with 250 to 499 employees. In all cases
they spoke to the person who managed their computing resources.
Connect with Symantec
Symantec's Canadian operations are headquartered in Toronto with offices
in Montreal, Ottawa, Calgary and Vancouver. For more information on
Symantec products or current promotions, access Symantec's Canadian Web
site at www.symantec.ca. Symantec is an active member of the Business Software Alliance (BSA).
Symantec is a global leader in providing security, storage and systems
management solutions to help consumers and organizations secure and
manage their information-driven world. Our software and services
protect against more risks at more points, more completely and
efficiently, enabling confidence wherever information is used or
stored. More information is available at www.symantec.com.
SOURCE Symantec Canada
For further information:
MAVERICK Public Relations
416-640-5525 ext. 238