The results from Symantec’s 2010 Small and Midsized Business (SMB) Information Protection Survey are in and they tell a much different story than a survey we conducted in 2009. SMBs—many of whom admitted to forgoing even the most basic protection such as backup and antivirus just 15 months ago —are now getting serious about information protection and are seeing data loss as a real threat.
So why the change? Based on the results, I’d say it’s because SMBs are feeling the effects of information loss and cyber attacks first hand. Out of the 2,152 SMB executives and IT decision makers in 28 countries surveyed, nearly 75 percent experienced cyber attacks in the past year, which caused expensive downtime, loss of important corporate data as well as personally identifiable information of customers or employees.
Or maybe it’s the fact that SMBs realized just how costly it can be when an employee loses a device that contains company information. Sixty-two percent of respondents said their employees have lost devices within past 12 months. The full 100 percent of them admitted that some of those devices were not password protected, and some were not able to be wiped of data remotely. These devices often contain crucial and confidential business information, that when put in the wrong hands could cause a great deal of anguish for a company.
But if that didn’t get SMBs to be more protective of their information, perhaps it was the amount lost in tangible costs that got their attention, which averaged out to be more than $188,000 per company.
The good news is that our survey proves SMBs are recognizing the threats and taking action to protect their businesses. They are now spending two-thirds of their IT time and $51,000 annually on information protection. And with 87 percent of SMBs having a disaster preparedness plan—although most admit their plans need some work—it’s clear that information protection is a growing concern and a priority for these businesses.
So if your business is one of the lucky ones that hasn’t been effected by data loss or cyber attack, take note from those who have and protect your business from these costly and damaging threats. Click here to take a full look at this year’s survey results.