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The Confident SMB
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Marian Merritt | 20 May 2013 | 0 comments


Small businesses are the economic backbone of this country. Yet, in the aftermath of manmade or natural disasters, an astounding 40% of small businesses never reopen. It doesn’t have to be this way; with preparation, organization and practice, owners and employees of small businesses can secure their future, despite what may come their way. In this 50th year of National Small Business Week, it’s the right time to put your plan together and into practice. The tips and advice here and at the websites I link to are also terrific resources and ideas for your home life, to make sure your family is safe and your important personal information secured.

56% of small businesses lack an emergency plan (source 2012 Ad Council survey)

I live in earthquake country. As a...

Paul Wood | 16 May 2013 | 1 comment

Social networking is a great way to find and keep customers. In fact, social media use by small businesses with fewer than 100 employees jumped from 44 percent to 53 percent last year, according to the SMB Group. But, brand building online can go horribly wrong quickly if cybercriminals hijack your accounts – the effects of which a number of well-known brands have experienced recently.

Attackers can do this any number of ways. They can go straight to the social network provider to try to steal your credentials, by pretending to be you. They may also try to exploit potential weaknesses in the lost password feature with information that can be obtained relatively easily on the Internet, such as where you were born or...

Symantec Corp. | 02 May 2013 | 0 comments

The best way to protect your business is to know what you need to protect it from. Last week, Symantec security experts Kevin Haley and Jay Epton engaged in a Twitter chat with Anita Campbell of Small Business Trends to discuss the findings of the Internet Security Threat Report Vol. 18 (ISTR), which reveals the current state of the threat landscape and an increase in focus being placed on SMBs by attackers. More than 600 tweets explore how cybercriminals are working to steal intellectual property and other confidential information from SMBs, and what you can do to protect your business.

If you missed the #SMBchat, here are some of the questions that were asked, with responses from Symantec experts and the SMB participants.

We keep hearing that cybercriminals change their tactics. What is the big takeaway from the ISTR 18?

  • Small businesses are now the target of 31% of all attacks, a threefold...
Symantec Corp. | 19 Apr 2013 | 0 comments

Join Symantec SMB security experts on Twitter (using the #SMBchat hashtag) on Thursday, April 25, at 9 a.m. PT / 12 p.m. ET to chat about the key trends highlighted in Symantec’s recently released Internet Security Threat Report (ISTR), Volume 18.

The ISTR, which covers the major threat trends observed by Symantec in 2012, reveals that cybercriminals view SMBs as a prime target for stealing information. In fact, the largest growth area for targeted attacks in 2012 was businesses with fewer than 250 employees; 31 percent of all attacks targeted them, representing a threefold increase from 2011.

Getting a clear understanding of the dangers is an important step in improving security, and this year’s report is a wake-up call that SMBs are now being specifically targeted by cybercriminals.

Mark your calendars to join #...

andysinger | 03 Apr 2013 | 0 comments

How can you protect the information that’s driving your business if you don’t know what you’re protecting it from? How can you reduce the risk of passing this risk on to your customers, and potentially your large business partners? One of the most fundamental ways to protect your business is to know what you need to protect it from. Knowing the enemy is the goal of Symantec’s Internet Security Threat Report (ISTR), Volume 18 and, according to the new report, criminals view SMBs as a prime target for stealing information. In fact, 31 percent of all targeted attacks are now directed at those with 250 employees or less, a threefold increase from 2011. This is especially concerning given the 2011 SMB Threat Awareness Poll, which showed that half of SMBs don’t consider themselves a target for attacks.

Cybercriminals are targeting customer...

Elias AbuGhazaleh | 29 Mar 2013 | 0 comments

This Sunday is World Backup Day. However every day should be a World Backup Day. Today’s businesses rely on their data to differentiate themselves from their competition and drive their success, from proprietary business plans to confidential customer data to classified employee information. Simply put, organizations of all sizes must protect their information from anything life might throw at them, including theft, Internet attacks, hard drive crashes, natural disasters, to even employees losing laptops – there are literally thousands of examples of potential information mishaps. And if you can’t replace the missing information, you put your business at risk, including the possibility of having to shutter your doors.

What to Look for in a Backup Solution

Backup can be simple, but to ensure it’s effective in today’s increasingly complex IT environment, businesses should consider the following:

  • Take advantage...
Anina Steele | 21 Mar 2013 | 0 comments

By Josh Cook, IT director for The Cardiac and Vascular Institute and a Symantec Customer

In healthcare IT, we have one overriding priority: the security of personal health information (PHI). Like many fast growing healthcare practices, this was a challenge for The Cardiac and Vascular Institute (TCAVI), which was formed from the merger of two cardiology groups. When I was brought in to merge the IT departments, I found a mixed bag of antivirus solutions on the computers, some with no protection at all. This was a serious issue when it comes to protecting the PHI of patients. But with limited IT staff, we needed an endpoint security solution that we could administer and manage easily.

One pressing issue was that we contract more than a dozen external medical transcriptionists to create digital copies of medical records. These contractors work from home and were accessing our network via VPN, but many had no antivirus or they had trial versions of consumer AV software...

Elias AbuGhazaleh | 21 Mar 2013 | 0 comments

Many small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are facing a common growing pain. Lot and lots of data. The amount of data they are storing is increasing enormously, and it’s becoming more and more challenging to keep up with Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and compliance requirements. And yet now they are finding out that they should be backing up all their information in order to avoid outages in the event of a disaster.

The past several years have provided plenty of evidence of the need for disaster preparedness. And making backup more complicated is the issue of virtualization, which, according to a recent Symantec survey, is being utilized by 34 percent of SMBs today. Not only do SMBs have to back up their data on physical hardware platforms they have been using for years, now they have to add a virtual environment to the list of things to back up.

Many vendors are happy to provide a solution that handles virtual environments, but they often require a...

Chris Halcon | 18 Mar 2013 | 0 comments

The SMB community plays a vital role in a healthy economy. Growing a small business presents a variety of challenges, particularly when it comes to selecting the right technologies. The explosive growth of data, the use of mobile devices in the workplace (BYOD), as well as cloud and virtualization technologies are creating a seemingly endless array of technologies to choose from for SMBs. Symantec understands the challenges these choices present and is committed to providing the solutions that are cost-effective, easy to deploy and provide the best possible user experience.

Leading this charge are Symantec executives from around the globe. Having three Symantec executives named to the SMB 150 Channel Influencers List is an honor for Symantec and speaks to dedication we have to the SMB community. We are proud to have Brian...

Anina Steele | 08 Mar 2013 | 0 comments

By Mayank Sharma, Network Systems Engineer at Child Advocates and a Symantec Customer

At Child Advocates, our focus is helping abused or neglected children find hope through our volunteers who help them transition to a safe environment. As a non-profit organization, we have to make the most of our limited resources, without compromising all the confidential data we are storing. That makes endpoint protection a top priority for us.

With only two staff members to manage our IT infrastructure, including the management of our 13 servers, we are always pressed for time. And we found ourselves constantly dealing with server issues caused by our antivirus solution. It periodically caused CPU spikes in our servers, requiring us to shut them down and restart them as well as reinstalling the antivirus software often, a process that takes hours. This happened several times each month, and we had to manage the antivirus solution on each server individually, for every incident....