Small business needs to focus on cybersecurity

Oct 27, 2009 10:23am

By Michael Kaiser, NCSA Executive Director

Today, the National Cyber Security Alliance released its firststudy on the cyber security practices of small and medium size businesses (SMBs).

What we found suggests that SMB’s need to make cyber security a higher priority. The study, co-sponsored by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and Symantec surveyed nearly 1,500  business owners across the United States about their cybersecurity awareness policies and practices.

The survey confirmed that small businesses today are handling valuable information - 65 percent store customer data, 43 percent store financial records, 33 percent store credit card information, and 20 percent have intellectual property and other sensitive corporate content online. 65 percent of the business survey claimed that the Internet was critical to their businesses success yet they are doing very little to ensure that their employees and systems are not victims of a data breach.

The survey results found that:

  • Only 28 percent of U.S. small businesses have formal Internet security policies;
  •  Just 35 percent provide any training to employees about Internet safety and security; and
  •  86 percent do not have anyone solely focused on information technology (IT) security.

In a White House blog posting today, John Brennan, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, also points out the need for businesses to make cyber security a priority and highlights materials from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) at the Department of Commerce and excellent resource for businesses.

NIST created a video and a guidebook  to help businesses tackle these issues. Take a look.

SSO (stay safe online)