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The Confident SMB
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Monica Girolami | 23 May 2011 | 0 comments

Have you given much thought to how your small business would handle a disaster? Not just the natural ones (flood, earthquake, hurricane), but human error too. Something as simple as an employee in accounts receivable accidentally deleting a file that contains the personal information of your customers can spell disaster for a small business.

The fact is many small businesses don’t have IT staff or resources dedicated to disaster preparedness, which leads to inconsistent and incomplete backup of vital business data. Symantec’s 2011 SMB Disaster Preparedness Survey found that SMBs are not making disaster preparedness a priority until they experience a disaster or data loss. The cost of not being prepared is too high to ignore. The median cost of downtime for an SMB at $12,500 per day, not to mention it causes your customers to leave.

With National Small Business Week drawing to a close, let’s revisit...

Blake M | 19 May 2011 | 0 comments

The pool of social networking sites grows daily. Many small businesses, and their employees, are diving in head first with little thought to what’s lurking under the surface.

Despite all of its upside, social networking has made small businesses a target for cybercriminals. The problem is social networks give users an implied sense of security, making them more inclined to click on links without thinking, fall for a cleverly orchestrated scam or over-share contact and location information. Cybercriminals can then gain entry to online accounts and steal personal information and content, including personal communications, documents, login credentials and even bank login information.

So, before you go smacking your head on the bottom of the figurative social media pool, jump in feet first instead and follow these tips to protect your valuable business information....

Blake M | 18 May 2011 | 0 comments

Your employees increasingly use their own mobile devices for business– a trend known as the consumerization of IT. Symantec recently conducted a short survey to learn more about end users’ experiences and perspectives on this trend. What we found is the consumerization of IT has already become a reality for many organizations.

The vast majority of respondents said their company allows employees to use the smartphones of their choice for work-related activities. And nearly identical percentages of respondents said their employer provided them with their smartphone (44 percent) as those who said they purchased their own (43 percent).

The survey also found that while end users realize the productivity and satisfaction benefits of allowing employees to use the smartphones of their choice for work, they don’t fully comprehend the extent of the security...

Carlos C | 17 May 2011 | 0 comments

It is National Small Business Week here in the U.S., and time to recognize small businesses as the engines that power our economy.  They deserve recognition for everything they do that makes our country strong!

Brick & Mortar, Web & Trust

Traditionally, consumers tend to trust small business owners – whether it's the helpful pharmacist or the owner of the sandwich shop down the street that will always greet you with a friendly hello. But what about the Web?  The World Wide Web can sometimes look more like the wild, wild, west!  With all the headlines around malware, hackers and phishing scams - consumers don’t always have that same level of trust when doing business online.

Unlike the big, well known brands, consumers can’t always tell if the small business website they visit can be trusted.  A popular and established way to assure visitors...

Blake M | 16 May 2011 | 0 comments

Have you heard about the cloud? I would be shocked if you haven’t. With all the cloud chatter, many small businesses are no doubt confused about the cloud. The big question is: what does cloud computing mean for you?

Cloud computing holds a great deal of promise for small businesses—simplicity, affordability and efficiency. A recent IDC Executive Brief investigates how SMBs are looking to new technology delivery models, such as cloud computing, as a means to optimize IT and cut costs, but notes that most are still cautious about the cloud.

So how do you know if cloud is right for you? Before you lift off into the cloud, consider these tips:

  • Bigger Isn’t Always Better: Research cloud service providers and you’ll find many large companies staking their claim on an increasingly crowded cloud market. The service provider’s reputation and how long they have been...
khaley | 05 May 2011

There’s good news for Seattle SMBs. Seattle police busted a group of cybercriminal “wardrivers” who have allegedly been cruising the city and stealing credit card data from unsecured Wi-Fi connections for the past five years.

Whether you’re located in the Emerald City or not, SMBs that have insecure or open wireless access points are at risk of falling victim to wardriving tactics, in which hackers search for vulnerable Wi-Fi wireless networks in a moving vehicle using a portable computer. Wardriving hardware can detect a wireless network from up to five miles away and there are programs that search out and automatically attempt to gain access and catalog wireless networks.

It’s not just open/insecure wireless access points that you need to be concerned with. Many small businesses have older...

Blake M | 04 May 2011 | 0 comments

As an SMB, you face any number of challenges when it comes to data protection and security—unrelenting data growth, new risks from the mobile devices being used by your employees, plus you’re increasingly the target of cybercrime. At Symantec, our goal is to provide our customers with market-leading solutions and delivery options that not only meet your technology needs but also fit your budget.

At this week’s Symantec Vision User Conference, we made several announcements that will help SMBs.

Software, Appliance or Backup to the Cloud?

Symantec unveiled a new approach to help SMBs protect their information via new delivery models. Organizations can now leverage the benefits of backup from Symantec as software, as a cloud service, or as an appliance. New Backup Exec appliances and Backup are designed specifically for...

khaley | 26 Apr 2011 | 0 comments

If I’ve said it once, I’ll say it a million times—hackers do not care what the size of your business is. They’re after your valuables, and SMBs are increasingly appealing targets because they usually have fewer cyber defenses. The results of Symantec’s 2011 Internet Security Threat Report certainly point to this trend, as I discussed in a post earlier this month.

Verizon’s 2011 Data Breach Investigations Report—released this week—tells a similar story. Verizon reports that while the total number of attacks is on the rise, the number of records exposed per breach declined. Cybercriminals are shifting their focus to small and medium businesses.

The folks from Symantec’s encryption team have weighed in on the report at the In Defense of Data blog. There are...

Blake M | 13 Apr 2011 | 0 comments

Alexander Pope said, “To err is human; to forgive, divine.” When it comes to small business or any sized business for that matter, most customers are not all that forgiving, especially when it comes to loss of personal information, including credit card data, patient records or other financial information, stored by the company. But, data breaches happen and information is lost every day due to small mistakes that could have been avoided. For small businesses, these events can be devastating.

Small business expert and senior small business columnist Steve Strauss recently shared with us his list of the 12 most common IT missteps most small businesses make. Steve notes that today anyone owning, running or working in a small business has to be as smart about IT as they are about the business itself.

Not surprisingly, many of Steve’s common IT pitfalls involve IT security and data protection...

khaley | 04 Apr 2011 | 0 comments

2011 Internet Security Threat Report Identifies Increased Risks for SMBs
Kevin Haley, Director, Symantec Security Technology and Response

Small businesses have flexibility that can provide them with a competitive edge in today’s Internet-based market. And, with ever more business being conducted online, keeping your sensitive information safe is more critical than ever.

Hackers do not care what the size of your business is.  They only care if they can get past your defenses and relieve you of your valuables.  What hackers do like about a small business is that they tend to have more money in the bank than an end-user and less cyber defenses than a larger company.  And these hackers are no longer limited to highly skilled computer geeks.  Leveraging easily available attack toolkitseven a relative novice can infect your computers and extract...