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Small business experience security breaches

The latest findings from Symantec’s 2009 Global Small and Mid-sized Business (SMB) Security and Storage survey for  Australia and New Zealand has revealed that more than half (58 percent) of small and medium sized businesses have experienced security breaches where personal information is lost, stolen or hacked.

The results highlight the problems small businesses are having when it comes to online security,  with the protection of email, information, networks, servers and desktops rating as the top goal for survey respondents, with 76 percent ranking it as somewhat/extremely important.

Viruses were identified as the top security worry (68 percent), while 60 percent are somewhat or extremely concerned about phishing scams, spam, data breaches and the loss of confidential information via email or USB devices.

According to Craig Scroggie, vice president and managing director, Pacific region, Symantec, the “threat landscape” continues to shift, and small businesses need to ensure they can “confidently and simply manage these challenges.”

“Small businesses in Australia and New Zealand need protection from a rapidly expanding and increasingly complex range of internal and external security threats. Through the adoption of security technology and education of security policies and processes, small businesses can reduce the number of security breaches, minimising the impact to their bottom line, brand and reputation.”

Despite the majority of survey respondents understanding the need for more stringent online security measures, many are not taking the proper precautions and neglecting basic safeguards. Approximately two out of every five (43 percent) respondents have not implemented endpoint protection (software that protects “endpoints” such as laptops, desktops and servers against malware), while 43 percent do not have an antispam solution. Almost half (45 percent) do not backup their desktop PCs, leaving their important information at risk in the event of an incident.

Scroggie has encouraged businesses to think carefully about their online security measures and should seek to employ in-depth defence technology including antivirus, antispam, and firewall technology to protect their information.

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