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SMBnow.com / SMB Press Release / SMB Cyber Attacks
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
474 Update by John Beagle,
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SMB Cyber Attacks


As SMB owners in the northeast endure the impact of Hurricane Sandy, there is another significant threat increasingly targeting small businesses: cyber attacks.

In fact, according to a recent survey commissioned by AT&T and the Polytechnic Institute of New York University, nearly four in 10 (37 percent) reported being the victim of a security breach, such as virus, mobile malware or phishing. But only a small number are taking steps to protect their wireless devices – and this is a cause for concern.

The study found:

·        The vast majority of SMBs allow their employees to access work email via mobile devices, and many allow employees to use these devices to access business files.

·        More than three-quarters allow employees to use personal devices for work.

·        Despite this reliance on mobility, few business owners are taking steps to keep these devices safe.

·        While almost all say they are concerned about computer and online data security, only 65 percent reported information and data security of wireless devices as a concern – and even fewer (29 percent) have installed anti-virus software on smartphones.

With more employees using mobile devices, especially personal devices, businesses are increasingly vulnerable. Below is a press release with more information about the study:

 

NYU-POLY and AT&T SMB SURVEY FINDS DISCONNECT BETWEEN mobile DEVICE use AND mobile security preparedness

Despite cyber security concerns, few see importance in keeping mobile devices safe

DALLAS, Oct. 29, 2012 — While the majority of SMB owners allow employees to use mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, few have taken steps to ensure these devices are kept safe from cyber threats.

According to a recent survey commissioned by AT&T* and the Polytechnic Institute of New York University, 90 percent of SMBs allow their employees to access work email via mobile devices, and 41 percent allow employees to use these devices to access business files. Eighty three percent of SMBs allow employees to use personal devices for work.

Only 65 percent reported information and data security of wireless devices as a concern, versus 91 percent concerned about computer and online data security. Fewer than one-third (29 percent) have installed anti-virus software on smartphones.

The survey** also found that 82 percent of SMB shave taken steps to secure company laptops. In contrast, only 32 percent are taking measures to protect smartphones, and 39 percent to protect tablets.  Of the majority not taking steps to protect these mobile devices, fewer than half (42 percent) have plans to increase security.

“There is a troubling disconnect between business owners who want to keep data safe and the necessary steps to protect it,” said Ed Amoroso, Chief Security Officer, AT&T. “With more employees using mobile devices, especially personal devices, business data is increasingly vulnerable to cyber threats. Protecting critical information can be easy and affordable, and SMBs need to recognize the reality of today’s environment – this is a step they can’t afford to ignore.”

In addition to mobile security questions, the survey also asked business owners whether their business had experienced a cyber or online security incident. Nearly four in 10 (37 percent) reported being the victim of a security breach, such as a virus, mobile malware or phishing, with 21 percent being victimized within the last two years. 

”SMBs need to better understand their risk profile,” said Nair Memon, Professor of Computer Science and Engineering and founding director of The Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Security and Privacy (CRISSP) at NYU-Poly. “This means treating every device that touches your network, from laptops to smartphones, as vulnerabilities and ensuring that security is built into the equation at every level.” 


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