Beefing Up Data Protection
Threat of cybercrime grows across the globe
Cybercrime is a growing concern for SMBs and individuals around the world. As part of National Cyber Security Awareness Week, an initiative of the Australian Government, a Symantec survey revealed that 56 percent of SMBs in Australia were affected by cybercrime in 2009, up 10 percent from 2008. While increases in both the amount and complexity of attacks are to blame, the change can also be attributed to the decline in IT budgets over the past year.
To fight this growing international trend, governments have gotten involved. The Mexican Senate recently passed the Federal Data Protection Act, a new law on data protection that will levy penalties up to $1.5 million for violators of the law. Jurisdiction for the country’s Federal Institute of Access to Information and Data Protection will expand to cover the protection of personal information of private individuals and entities, helping to guarantee data protection at the federal level in Mexico.
Covered under the act is sensitive personal data such as medical condition, race, and religion; consent of the individual is required before any outside entity can process the data.
SMBs Get Serious
Survey shows protection a high priority
The 2010 SMB Information Protection Survey by Symantec reveals that data loss and cyberattacks are on the minds of SMBs: 74 percent said they were somewhat/extremely concerned over the loss of vital business information, while 73 percent experienced cyber attacks over the past year. The data is in sharp contrast to a survey conducted more than 15 months ago that showed SMBs were foregoing even the most basic protections.
According to the survey, two thirds of IT time is spent on information protection, with $51,000 the median amount spent by SMBs to protect information. Backup and recovery, disaster recovery readiness, and security were listed as the top three IT areas slated to improve over the next 12 months—only 23 percent listed their disaster preparedness plan as pretty good/ excellent. Financial loss is a big motivation, with losses averaging more than $188,000 for SMBs that sustained cyber attacks. To learn more, click here.