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The Confident SMB

SMBs and Targeted Attacks – #SMBchat Recap

Created: 24 Jul 2012
Chris Halcon's picture
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The number of targeted attacks against SMBs has more than doubled in the last six months. This alarming new statistic combined with the fact that many SMBs are unaware of the threat was the key driver behind our latest SMB Twitter chat.

Last week, Symantec’s SMB security experts, Kevin Haley and Andy Singer, engaged with Small Business Trends’ Editor-in-Chief Anita Campbell for a Twitter chat about targeted attacks and SMBs. The chat covered a variety of topics including the likelihood of an attack, common types of attacks and how to mitigate threats.

The chat drew more than 100 participants which included SMB owners and thought leaders who discussed the current threat landscape for SMBs. The chat produced more than 800 Tweets and for the first time since we started holding SMB chats, the hashtag #SMBchat, trended on Twitter (it trended higher than #Emmy!). We couldn’t be more thrilled with the turn out and the great conversations. Thanks to all who participated!

The following includes sample questions from Anita, with the resulting responses from Andy (tweeting from @SymantecSMB) and Kevin (@kphaley), as well as other participants:

How likely is it that a small business will face a malicious cyber attack?

  • 50% of SMBs think they’re not a target for cyber attackers,  but 73% have been victims: (@SymantecSMB)
  • Extremely likely. Just looking at WordPress-based sites: 78% sites old versions. All things insecure out of the box insecure. (@Dynamicnet)
  • Can it be 100% likely? Isn't it already happening? (@DIYMarketers)
  • 100% likely that your see some of these threats. They don’t check the size of your biz before they attack. (@Kphaley)

What are the most common types of malicious cyber attacks that small businesses face?

  • Interesting things happening with targeted attacks. They’re becoming everyone’s problem, not just government’s & enterprises.’ (@SymantecSMB)
  • Targeted attacks aimed at SMBs increased to 36% in the first half of 2012  doubling last year: (@SymantecSMB)
  • We also see consistent phishing and related spam-based email attacks hoping for people to click on links. (@Dynamicnet)

If small businesses use Macs  instead of PCs  do they need to worry about cyber attacks and malware? Why or why not?

  • Mac users don’t like to worry, but they should. The community has grown enormously & cybercriminals are taking notice. (@Kphaley)

What is a “Comprehensive Security Plan” and how does a small biz create one?

  • Security plan should include password polices endpoint protection  secure email/Web assets  encryption backup. (@Kphaley)

If you don’t have an internal IT or have limited staff, how do you get help for your biz?

  • Make sure you're working with an expert BEFORE you have a problem - not just cyber issues but anything that's important to business. (@howardlewinter)
  • Cloud-hosted security is a great option for SMBs with limited IT staff. Learn about Symantec’s SMB: (@SymantecSMB)

Thanks again for a wonderful, spirited chat. We’re anxiously looking forward to the next one. Feel free to leave your thoughts and comments below and don’t forget to follow us on our new Twitter handle @SymantecSMB.