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SMBs have false sense of cyber-security

Small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have a greatly-inflated sense of cyber security, according to a report published by Mcafee.

The survey polled over 1,000 SMB owners, and found that 66 per cent felt confident that their data and devices were safe from hackers, while 77 per cent responded that they have never been hacked. This is in stark contrast to a raft of evidence that SMBs are one of the primary targets of sophisticated and evolving cyber-attacks.

In fact, companies with less than 100 employees were the target of 72 per cent of data breaches investigated by Verizon Communications' forensic analysis unit in 2013.

"Cyber attacks on small businesses rarely make headlines, so it is easy for these business owners to be lulled into a false sense of security, as indicated in this survey," said New York Congressman Chris Collins. "It is especially important for small business owners to secure their systems, as they may not have the resources to survive a cyber attack, unlike a large corporation."

The study found that only nine per cent of SMBs use endpoint or mobile device security, and that a shocking 80 per cent don't use data protection. Less than half of these companies use email security, with only a little more using Internet security systems.

Even more alarmingly, 14 per cent of SMBs absolutely no IT security measures in place.

"As enterprises have increased their security defenses, hackers have started to target their attacks downstream to SMBs," said Bill Rielly, McAfee's senior vice president of Small and Medium Business.

"A business that doesn't have any security measures in place is putting their data and customers' trust in jeopardy," he added.

The security firm has urged business owner to educate themselves and their employees on the risks facing SMBs online, and find out what options are available to them.

Image: Flickr (mydecorative)