Small businesses feel little threat of cyber crime

Small business owners do not allocate much time or financies into protecting their servers or networks, according to a November study by Visa and the National Cyber Security Alliance. The data revealed that 85 percent of respondents from the 1,000 small businesses surveyed do not see themselves at risk to cyber crime. Despite little concern for cyber crime, 54 percent of entrepreneurs believe they are better prepared for such theft than large businesses.

Approximately 500 of the respondents do not devote any additional resources to enhancing their networks, while 84 percent believe their current systems are enough to protect business records and consumer information.

That lack of concern has trickled down to the staff as 75 percent of employees have garnered three hours or fewer of network security training. Forty-seven percent have no training at all, the data revealed.

“The greatest threat to a company’s cybersecurity is complacency,” said Michael Kaiser, executive director of the NCSA, in a statement. “We encourage small business owners to take the necessary precautions to protect their customers, employees and their businesses.”

According to the Internet Crime Complaint Center, U.S. businesses lost $560 million to cybercrime in 2009, approximately double from the $265 million lost in 2008. The IC3 managed 336,655 complaints last year, a 22 percent increase from 2008.

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