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Symantec: Are SMBs Immune to Targeted Cyberattacks?
By Daniel Goh - on 15 Dec 2011, 5:52pm

Symantec: Are SMBs Immune to Targeted Cyberattacks?

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – According to Symantec Corporation’s 2011 SMB Threat Awareness Poll, it was revealed that although cybercrime awareness is considerably high, many SMBs still do not implement security measures because they have a preconception that cybercriminals only target large operations.

Results of this poll indicate that more than half of the 1,900 SMBs that participated on a global scale recognize the fact that malware would cause a loss of productivity and a further 46 percent agreed that a targeted attack would cause a revenue loss.

However, despite their awareness level, they are still choosing to believe that it’s primarily large enterprises that have to worry about attacks. Recent evidence have indicated that 40 percent of all targeted attacks have been directed at companies with fewer than 500 employees, compared to only 28 percent directed at large enterprises.

With this preconception, many are choosing not to take precautions to protect their information. The survey indicated that 61 percent of SMBs do not use anti-virus software on all desktops and 47 percent don’t even have security for mail servers and services.

“Protecting Information is key for SMBs to remain competitive in Malaysia today as many of them handle sensitive customer information and hold intellectual properties. They cannot afford to risk data loss incidents,” said Nigel Tan, Symantec’s Principal Consultant for Asia South Region. “Cybercriminals don’t choose their targets based on the size of the business. They are seeking confidential information for financial gain and SMBs are increasingly appealing targets when their guard is down.”

With that being said, Symantec recommends the following practices to ensure protection against cyber criminals:

  • Educate employees about internet safety detailing security issues along with the latest threats. Also emphasis should be put on regularly changing passwords and protecting mobile devices.
  • Understand the implications of a cybercrime attack on the particular business so SMB owners will know what needs to be protected.
  • Take precautionary measures like developing a security plan which includes password policies, endpoint protection, the security of email and Web assets, and encryption.

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