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Small Business Internet Security Survey Turns Up Interesting Data

The results of the annual Small Business Internet Security Survey, conducted by Zogby International in partnership with Symantec and the National Cyber Security Alliance turned up interesting data on how Small businesses addressed Internet security concerns within their organizations.

Small Business Survey On Internet Security

Viruses and other internet threats are a concern for many small businesses.

1,045 Americans were polled for the study.

Key Findings

      • 76% of those polled said that 75% to 100% of their employees used the internet everyday.
      • Employees used the Internet for many reasons, the most popular (82%) being communicating with customers, followed by Research (79%) and communications with vendors/partners (70%).
      • 63% of those polled did not have Social Media usage policies in place.
      • 66% of those polled considered themselves to be “very dependent” on the Internet for everyday business operations.
      • 67% said that their business has become more dependent on the Internet over the last 12 months.
      • 59% of those polled said they were personally responsible for the IT needs at their business - 85% didn’t have an Internal IT manager to take care of backups, site management and other critical updates.
      • Small businesses handle multiple kinds of sensitive data - Customer data accounted for 69%; Financial records and reports accounted for 49%; Credit card information weighed in at 34% and Personal Employee data accounted for 32%.
      • 38% of all employees had access to the same information on the network.
      • 69% responded that Internet security was critical to their business and their business success.
      • 40% offered training on how to keep their computers secure - 42% did not.
      • 56% responded that they didn’t have clearly defined Internet usage policies to outline what websites and web services employees are allowed to use on the job.
      • 67% allowed employees to use USB devices in the workplace.
      • 32% of those polled responded that viruses were the biggest concern with employee use of the Internet, followed by Malware at 17%.
      • Mobile device usage is largely permitted with 72% responding that they allow it in the workplace.
      • 26% of employees can access company files and data remotely from their mobile device.
      • 53% responded that they were more concerned with an external threat such as hacker or cybercriminal than an Internal threat such as an employee or contractor  stealing data (10%).
      • 29% responded that they used encryption to protect customer data.

This release of this study coincides with the 8th Annual National Cyber Security Month which is sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security to help educate individuals, businesses and organizations about the importance of Internet security to protect yourself against data breaches, identity theft and other Internet threats.

The study had an error margin of +/- 3.1 percentage points and the full report can be found here.

Businesses and organizations are well served to protect their assets using Web and Email Security solutions that guard against network intrusion.

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