A survey conducted by Panda Security found small businesses have a serious lack of anti-spam and anti-malware protection.
Cloud-based security specialist Panda Security has announced its worldwide
barometer on security at small and medium-sized businesses. According to a
study, which surveyed 5,760 companies worldwide, 44 percent of the more than
respondents have recently been infected by Internet threats.
Worldwide, 58 percent were affected, with Brazil
showing the highest infection rate at 86 percent. Only 8 percent of SMBs in Germany
The survey found 29 percent of U.S. SMBs lack anti-spam protection, 22
percent have no anti-spyware measures in place, and 16 percent operate without
a firewall. Fifty percent lost time or productivity as a result of being
infected, and 39 percent of respondents said either they or their employees
have not received training about IT threats that could affect them.
U.S. SMBs said viruses affected their companies more than any other threat,
at 41 percent, and they ranked spyware second, at 26 percent. Worldwide,
viruses also ranked first, with 55 percent of respondents naming them the most
potent threat to their businesses. Ten percent of SMBs in the United
States were affected to the point of having
to stop production, with a worldwide average of 30 percent, the survey found.
While 97 percent of U.S. SMBs surveyed have installed anti-virus and 95
percent claim their security systems are up-to-date, many SMBs still lack
common security protection. Along with 29 percent of respondents that have no
anti-spam in place, 22 percent with no anti-spyware and 16 percent with no
firewall, 52 percent of SMBs said they lack any Web filtering solution. Of
those U.S. SMBs without any security systems in place, 27 percent said they
have not implemented them because they aren't important or necessary, and 20
percent because they are expensive.
"Despite strong efforts in the U.S.
to educate businesses about the importance of computer security, a staggering
number of small and medium-sized businesses have become victims of cyber-crime,"
said Luis Corrons, PandaLabs' technical director. "It is especially
alarming to see so many businesses fail to adopt the most basic security
measures, such as anti-spam and firewall solutions."
The perceived importance of social networking for SMBs may also be having an
adverse effect on security, according to a recent report by security software
company Webroot. The survey found members of online social networks may be more
vulnerable to financial loss, identity theft and malware infection than they
Surveying more than 1,100 members of Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, Twitter
and other popular social networks, the company uncovered numerous behaviors
that put social networkers' identities (and wallets) at risk, including
two-thirds of respondents that don't restrict any details of their personal
profile from being visible through a public search engine such as Google, and
more than half of respondents who said they aren't sure who can see their