Small Business Focus on Cyber Security in the U.S.

An analysis of small business’ cyber security practices and attitudes was done in a study conducted by the National Cyber Security Alliance along with Symantec and Zogby International. The study revealed that the cyber security should be given higher priority by the small businesses.

It was reported from the study that 65 percent of small businesses store customer data and 43 percent store financial records. Around 33 percent of the firms are involved in storing credit card information. 20 percent of the firms are involved in having intellectual property and other sensitive corporate content online. Internet is used by about 65 percent of the businesses surveyed.

Of the companies surveyed, 86% do not have information technology (IT) security. Check for anti-virus, anti-spyware, and operating systems is done by 53% of the firms and 11% of the firms are found to never check them. The computer security polling results of the survey revealed that a minimum threshold of security for protecting customer and employee data is used by 20% of the firms surveyed.

The internet safety polling results of the study reported that 75% of small businesses use internet for communication. Formal internet security policies are offered by 25% of the small businesses in the U.S. however, about 35% of the small firms are involved in providing training for employees regarding the internet safety and security. The study also revealed that 90% of the businesses have no workplace signage that helps in IT security and internet safety. It was found that 25% of the businesses surveyed have no password protection for wireless networks. About 66 percent of the small firms use computers or PDA containing sensitive information off-site.