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The Confident SMB

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Chris Halcon | 13 Jul 2012 | 0 comments

If you think you’re too small for hackers to direct their malware your way, think again. The number of targeted attacks against SMBs, where cybercriminals specifically target organizations using customized malware and social engineering, has doubled in the first six months of 2012. Many smaller businesses find themselves vulnerable to these attacks because they have fewer defenses and limited budgets.

Join Symantec’s security experts and small business expert Anita Campbell of Small Business Trends on Thursday, July 19 at 1:00 p.m. PT / 4:00 p.m. ET to chat about the latest threats to SMBs and how to protect your company from targeted attacks.

SMBs need to take steps to educate employees about the latest internet-based threats and how to prevent them, while implementing technologies to protect their valuable information. Our SMB experts will cover the following:

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andysinger | 10 Jul 2012 | 0 comments

Symantec’s latest Internet Security Threat Report Volume 17 showed that 2011 saw an increase in targeted attacks, and  18 percent of these targeted attacks were directed at businesses with 250 or fewer employees. Now that we’re halfway through the new year, how do things look for SMBs? According to the latest Symantec Intelligence Report – not good.

Targeted attacks still increasing

After reaching a record high in December of 154 attacks per day, daily attacks dipped briefly in January before returning to similar levels in February. For the most part, the daily attack average remained around this level for the first half of 2012 resulting in an average increase in targeted attacks per day of around 24 percent for the first half of 2012.

Attacks against SMBs double

Over the last six months, the number of attacks against SMBs has doubled, jumping to 36 percent compared to the 18 percent we saw just...

Monica Girolami | 26 Jun 2012 | 1 comment

In business today, information is becoming more and more important. However, the costs and amount of information businesses deal with is huge and growing at a rapid pace. On average, enterprises spend $38 million annually on information, while SMBs spend $332,000. However, the yearly cost per employee for SMBs is a lot higher at $3,670, versus $3,297 for enterprise. Even more interesting, a recent survey reveals that information is expected to grow by 178 percent for SMBs in the next year. Without the advantage of economies of scale, small businesses need to rethink how they spend money on protecting their information.

In order for your business to run smoothly, you need to understand what information you have, be able to access it when and where you need it, and – above all – protect it. Symantec has just published its first ever 2012 State of Information Survey which looks into the value of information to...

akennada | 22 Jun 2012 | 0 comments

Our new Symantec 2012 SMB File Sharing poll found that as online file sharing becomes increasingly common as a business practice, many SMBs are more at risk of data loss and security threats.  As SMB employees increasingly need to share files more quickly and efficiently – while at the same time those files increase in size – SMB employees are adopting unmanaged, personal-use online file sharing solutions without permission from IT. 

In response to some of the recent data from our survey, we’ve put together some best practices that can help your organization keep proprietary and confidential information safe: 

  • Centralize file storage and management with a secure web-based system accessible regardless of device or location to protect data outside the office walls: Not surprisingly, our survey showed that the number of employees working from home and/or remotely has gradually...
Symantec Security Response | 19 Jun 2012 | 0 comments

Malware called DSNChanger has been, and continues to be, in the news. One of our concerned customers asked Symantec Security Response a number of questions recently in regards to what this threat is, how it works, and what it ultimately means to them (and other users like them). The following are the questions posed to us with our responses.

Norton User: What is this DNSChanger making news at the moment?

Symantec Security Response: It is malware that changes the Domain Name System (DNS) settings on the compromised computer, hence the name.

NU: What are these DNS settings and how do they affect me?

SSR: DNS is an Internet service that converts user-friendly domain names into the numerical Internet protocol (IP) addresses that computers use to talk to each other. When you enter a domain name into your Web browser...

andysinger | 23 May 2012 | 1 comment

To call mobility the latest hot business technology trend is probably an understatement. In reality, the gravitation towards using highly mobile devices, such as smartphone and tablets, represents a transformation of business technology priorities rather than simply a trend. Current and future generations entering the workforce will wonder how business was ever done without these devices. This transformation is not only taking place in large enterprises with the capital to invest in cutting edge technologies and IT strategies, but SMBs are also jumping head first into mobility.

A key driver behind SMBs full-fledged interest in business mobility is the “bring your own device,” or BYOD, concept.  Many SMBs do not have the resources to supply employees with the latest mobile technologies, yet they still want to partake of the benefits of an always-connected workforce. With BYOD, employees use their own personal mobile devices for work. Thus, it’s a win-...

Nick Johnston | 18 May 2012 | 0 comments

Today sees the highly-anticipated IPO (Initial Public Offering) of the social-networking site Facebook. The IPO is expected to be several times oversubscribed as the demand for shares greatly exceeds the number of shares being issued.

The high-profile nature of this IPO has not escaped the attention of the “419” or the “advance fee fraud” scammers. As a brief reminder, these scams typically promise vast sums of money in exchange for assistance. However, before said sums of money can be received, several increasingly-inventive up-front charges and fees must be paid. The fees keep coming and the promised money never materializes.

We recently spotted a 419 scam message offering a "FACEBOOK (IPO) SUBSCRIPTION PARTNERSHIP PROPOSAL". The use of an all uppercase heading is a common hallmark of such 419 scams.

The scam claims to be sent from a finance firm with offices in multiple locations around the world. The exact nature of the...

Chris Halcon | 16 May 2012 | 1 comment

Lost or stolen devices and mobile malware are significant concerns for small businesses. Symantec’s recent Smartphone Honey Stick Project found that there is a very high likelihood attempts to access both sensitive personal- and business-related information will be made if a lost and unprotected smartphone is found by a stranger.

On May 2nd, two Symantec security experts joined Anita Campbell, editor-in-chief at Small Business Trends, in a Twitter chat to shed some light on how to secure and protect mobile devices and the business data accessed and stored on them.

The #SMBchat generated some lively discussion and included some useful stats and tips for SMBs. In case you missed...

Monica Girolami | 13 May 2012 | 0 comments

Can Virtualization, Cloud and Mobility Adoption Boost Disaster Preparedness for SMBs?

Our latest Symantec 2012 SMB Disaster Preparedness Survey found that more and more small and medium size businesses (SMBs) are planning and implementing virtualization, cloud computing and mobility, a strategic IT trend typically seen with larger enterprise businesses. We see companies that can find a way to effectively incorporate these technologies enjoy a competitive advantage in a fast-paced, global marketplace. But we’re also seeing that these new strategic technology investments (virtualization, cloud and mobility) can also align to a disaster preparedness strategy, especially when considered and analyzed in the planning process.

So my question to you is – do you feel confident with your organization’s disaster preparedness plan?  If not, regardless of whether you have a plan this year to...

Chris Halcon | 11 May 2012 | 0 comments

Cross-posted from Symantec Security Response blog

Join Symantec security experts on Twitter (using the #ISTR hashtag) on Tuesday, May 15, at 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET to chat about the key trends highlighted in Symantec’s recently released Internet Security Threat Report, Volume 17.

This year’s report, which covers the major threat trends observed by Symantec in 2011, highlights several troubling developments. For example:

  • Symantec blocked more than 5.5 billion malicious attacks in 2011, an increase of 81 percent over the previous year.
  • The number of unique malware variants increased to 403 million and the number of Web attacks blocked per day increased by 36 percent.
  • Targeted attacks are growing, with the number...