I’ve been working on an article for some time, investigation whether small business is up to the task of protecting your personal information; particularly your financial data (credit card, debit card, details), following a consumer transaction.
The background research has revealed a sobering reality – many small and medium sized businesses really suck at protecting their customers’ critical financial information.
So, when I had the opportunity to read Panda Security’s study (released yesterday), of security in SMBs (including 1,500 US SMBs), which showed that a startling percentage of US based SMBs just don’t get the security equation, I was not in the least bit surprised.
Look at these stats from the survey:
The infection ratio at U.S. companies has slightly increased since last year (46 percent in 2010 compared to 44 percent in 2009). It has dropped in Europe (49 percent in 2010 compared to 58 percent in 2009).
Viruses are the most popular threat SMBs are encountering (45 percent), followed by spyware (23 percent).
Thirty-six percent of US SMBs use free consumer security applications.
Unbelievably, 13 percent have no security in place!
Thirty-one percent of businesses are operating without anti-spam
Twenty three percent have no anti-spyware.
Fifteen percent have no firewall.
Participants: The survey consisted of companies with between 2 and 1,000 computers. 1,532 in the United States participated in the survey, and nearly 10,000 in total across the U.S., Europe, Latin America and North America.
The next time you use your credit/debit card at your local Butcher, Baker, or Candlestick Maker, consider carefully the risks involved. It might be prudent to inquire whether the business operates in a twenty first century security environment.
Yes, I know, you might see this as an overreaction – but it’s hardly that. Unless we, as consumers, force the issue, many SMBs will continue to operate with their heads up their in the cloud – unfortunately, not in the security cloud.
I’ll tell you a little secret – I never use my credit, or debit card, when transacting business with a small local merchant. It’s not the small monetary loss that concerns me, since the card issuer sets my liability limit at $50. Instead, it’s the more critical information that can be stolen and used in identity theft.
About Panda Security;
Founded in 1990, Panda Security is the world’s leading provider of cloud-based security solutions with products available in more than 23 languages and millions of users located in 195 countries around the world.
Panda Security was the first IT security company to harness the power of cloud computing with its Collective Intelligence technology.
For more information, visit Panda US.
A PDF version of the full report is available here.
If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.