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Small & Medium Enterprises Overlook Cyber Attacks

In a study conducted on 600 IT personnel in European SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) across the continent, 47% of the surveyed SMEs thought that the cyber criminals would not attack them because of their small size. They think such crimes are designed for the larger organizations only.

ICM, a polling company, carried out the research and found that more than half, about 58% of SMEs in Europe, did not believe that they would be targets of cyber crime even though almost 73% or three quarters of them critically relied on online access for their businesses.

But according to the commissioner of the survey, Greg Day, who is also a senior security analyst at anti-malware firm McAfee, cyber criminals don't distinguish between the sizes of the companies they target, as published by Itpro.co.uk on September 3, 2007. Day added that every SME, however small, would have confidential financial information and customer details that Internet criminals would find useful.

All SMEs should, therefore, regard cyber crime as a major concern for themselves. This is because the origin of the crime is usually at a greater distance than where the crime brings effect, which makes it hard to trace. The results can be devastating, causing substantial monetary losses to the companies.

The Federation of Small Businesses has estimated that a mere 6% of small-sized enterprises had been victim of online fraud of which only 19% regarded it as a cyber threat.

The research figures showed that 28% of the SMEs spent just one hour per week on dynamic IT security handling. About 19% of the respondents said hackers had the ability to disable their business. The study also found that 90% of those surveyed considered their companies as 'adequately protected', although 36% of them depended only on default measures installed on their equipments. In the European continent, those who accepted the default settings most were the Spanish SMEs whereas German SMEs relied on such settings least.

While one-fifth IT managers surveyed said their firms had fallen prey to hacking attack, the same number said they needed at least seven days to recover.

Related article: Small Organizations Too Can Be Hackers’ Target

» SPAMfighter News - 9/26/2007

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