SMBs have false sense of IT security: report

A new report by security vendor McAfee and retailer Office Depot found there appears to be a gap between how secure small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) feel from an IT perspective, and how secure their IT infrastructure actually is.

According to the survey of over 1,000 SMBs, 66 per cent of respondents said they feel confident their data and devices are secure and safe from hackers, and 77 per cent said they haven’t been hacked. According to McAfee though, the results are odds with industry research that shows SMBs are the prime targets for cybercriminals, as they’re often viewed as unprotected, low-hanging fruit.

That’s borne out by some of the other responses to the survey. For example, only nine per cent were using endpoint and mobile device security, a majority didn’t use e-mail security, and 45 per cent used no Internet security. And 14 per cent of SMBs said they hadn’t implemented any security measures at all.

“A business that doesn’t have any security measures in place is putting their data and customers’ trust in jeopardy,” said Bill Rielly, senior vice-president of SMB at McAfee, in a statement.  “As enterprises have increased their security defences, hackers have started to target their attacks downstream to SMBs. We applaud Office Depot’s SMB survey, which not only took the pulse of cybercrime, but also increased security awareness among the small business workforce. At McAfee, we are focused on educating businesses on the devastating impact a cyber attack can have and the simple steps and solutions they can use to keep their businesses safe.”

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras
A veteran technology and business journalist, Jeff Jedras began his career in technology journalism in the late 1990s, covering the booming (and later busting) Ottawa technology sector for Silicon Valley North and the Ottawa Business Journal, as well as everything from municipal politics to real estate. He later covered the technology scene in Vancouver before joining IT World Canada in Toronto in 2005, covering enterprise IT for ComputerWorld Canada. He would go on to cover the channel as an assistant editor with CDN. His writing has appeared in the Vancouver Sun, the Ottawa Citizen and a wide range of industry trade publications.

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