Are Small Businesses Cybercrime Targets?

Small business owners increasingly believe investments in cybersecurity are not justified by actual online threats and the majority of cybercrime is focused on attacking large companies. This was revealed Tuesday (Nov. 30) in a new study sponsored by Visa Inc. and the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA). 

Nearly 50 percent of all small business owners believe the high cost in time and money to fully secure their business is not justified by the threat.

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This attitude is manifested in practice as 75 percent of owners said their employees have received less than three hours of network and mobile device security training in the past year, with 47 percent saying their employees received zero hours of training.

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“The greatest threat to a company’s cybersecurity is complacency,” said Michael Kaiser, executive director of the NCSA. “We encourage small business owners to take the necessary precautions to protect their customers, employees and their businesses.”

According to the survey, more than 85 percent of small business owners believe that they are less of a cybercrime target than large companies, and 54 percent believe they are more prepared to secure sensitive customer and corporate data than large businesses. 

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In addition, 84 percent agree that they have the policies and procedures in place for keeping data and computer systems secure.

The findings, according to NCSA, are surprising in light of growing concern from security experts and law enforcement that hackers and cyber criminals are honing in on small businesses as their new targets.

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“Cybersecurity investments are critical to protecting a company’s brand and reputation,” said Rosetta Jones, head of public affairs for Visa. “We are focused on partnering with small businesses to ensure that they fully understand the business benefits of running a cyber secure operation.” 

The study was an online poll of 1,000 small business owners conducted by Zogby-463.

The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) is a nonprofit organization. It works to create a culture of cyber security and safety through education and awareness activities.

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