Symantec Survey Reveals Information Protection is the Highest IT Priority for
SMBs

Average SMB now spends approximately $51,000 a year to protect their information

TORONTO, June 21 /CNW/ - Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC) today released the findings of its 2010 Global SMB Information Protection Survey (http://www.symantec.com/content/en/us/about/media/pdfs/SMB_ProtectionSurvey_2010.pdf?om_ext_cid=biz_socmed_twitter_2010Jun_worldwide_SMB). The survey found that small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs with 10 to 499 employees) are now making protecting their information their highest IT priority, as opposed to 15 months ago when a high percentage had failed to enact even the most basic safeguards. This shift makes sense as SMBs are facing increased threats from cyber attacks, lost devices and loss of confidential or proprietary data. The survey is based on responses from 2,152 SMB executives and IT decision makers in 28 countries in May 2010.

"Small and mid-sized organizations are facing increased risks to their confidential information - including bank account numbers, credit card information and customer and employee records. Whether it's due to a malware attack, a server crash, or a stolen mobile device, loss of information can be highly detrimental, if not fatal for an SMB," said Bernard Laroche, senior director of product marketing at Symantec. "A year ago, a Symantec survey found one-third of SMBs did not have the most basic protection of all - antivirus protection. It is exciting to see that SMBs acknowledge the risks they face and are taking action to protect their information more completely."

Canadian Highlights

The 2010 SMB survey polled 192 Canadian executives and IT decision makers. Of the 28 countries, Canadian SMBs appeared to be some of the most careful when it came to securing their electronic information, with only seven percent reporting to have lost confidential or proprietary data in the past, compared to the global average of 42 percent. Despite this low number, 69 percent of Canadian SMBs polled saw some kind of cyber attack in the past year. Continuing to err on the side of caution, Canadian SMBs ranked backup and recovery (78 percent), disaster recovery (77 percent), and security (74 percent) as the most important IT improvement areas for 2010.

Survey Highlights

    
    -   SMBs surveyed showed a heightened interest and increased investment
        in information protection. They rank data loss and cyber attacks as
        their top business risks, ahead of traditional criminal activity,
        natural disasters and terrorism. SMBs are now spending an average of
        $51,000 a year, and two thirds of IT staff time working on
        information protection, including computer security, backup, recovery
        and archiving as well as disaster preparedness. Eighty-seven percent
        of SMBs have a disaster preparedness plan, but there is still work to
        be done as only 23 percent rate their plan pretty good/excellent.

    -   Loss of critical business information threatens SMBs. Seventy-four
        percent of SMBs surveyed are somewhat/extremely concerned about
        losing electronic information. In fact, 42 percent have lost
        confidential or proprietary information in the past. As a result,
        100 percent of companies who have lost data have seen direct losses
        such as lost revenue or direct financial costs such as money or
        goods.

    -   One of the main issues for SMBs is lost devices. Almost two-thirds of
        businesses polled have lost devices such as laptops, smartphones or
        iPads in the past 12 months. One-hundred percent have at least some
        devices that have no password protection and cannot be remotely wiped
        of their data to protect their confidential business information if
        lost.

    -   Cyber attacks are a crucial threat to SMBs. Seventy-three percent of
        the respondents were victims of cyber attacks in the past year.
        Thirty percent of those attacks were deemed somewhat/extremely
        successful. One-hundred percent of SMBs saw losses such as expensive
        downtime, loss of important corporate data as well as personally
        identifiable information of customers or employees. These losses led
        to direct costs for all respondents such as lost productivity, lost
        revenue and loss of customer trust.
    

Symantec's Recommendations

    
    -   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.

    -   Safeguard important business information: SMBs are facing increased
        risks to their confidential information so safeguarding this data is
        critical. One data breach could mean financial ruin for an SMB.
        Implement a complete protection solution to ensure proprietary
        information - whether it's credit card information, customer data or
        employee records - is safe.

    -   Implement an effective backup and recovery plan: Protecting
        information is more than implementing an antivirus solution. Backup
        and recovery is a critical component of complete information
        protection to keep SMBs' desktops, servers and applications running
        smoothly in case of disruption - whether it's a flood, an earthquake,
        a virus or a system failure. One outage could mean customer
        dissatisfaction and costly downtime, which could be catastrophic to
        the business.

    -   Secure email and web assets: Select a mail and Web security solution
        that can help mitigate spam and email threats so SMBs can protect
        sensitive information and spend more time on day-to-day activities.
        Spammers and phishers will use current events and social engineering
        tactics to get users to give up personal information such as credit
        card and banking information.
    

Click to Tweet (http://twitter.com/login): Average SMB spends approximately $51K to protect information according to Symantec. http://bit.ly/92nBqC

Resources

    
    -   View the 2010 Symantec SMB Information Protection Survey Results on
        YouTube
    -   View the full 2010 Symantec SMB Information Protection Survey (PDF)
       
(http://www.symantec.com/content/en/us/about/media/pdfs/SMB_ProtectionSurvey_2010.pdf?om_ext_cid=biz_socmed_twitter_2010Jun_worldwide_SMB)
    -   Access the 2010 Symantec SMB Information Protection Survey
        presentation on Slideshare.net
(http://www.slideshare.net/main/private_slideshow?path_to_redirect_at=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.slideshare.net%2Fsymantec%2F2010-smb-information-protection-survey)
    

About Symantec

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.

NOTE TO EDITORS: If you would like additional information on Symantec Corporation and its products, please visit the Symantec News Room at http://www.symantec.com/news. All prices noted are in U.S. dollars and are valid only in the United States.

Symantec and the Symantec Logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Symantec Corporation or its affiliates in the U.S. and other countries. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

SOURCE Symantec Canada

For further information: For further information: Shaday Livingston, MAVERICK Public Relations, 416-640-5525 ext. 248, Shadayl@maverickpr.com

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