SANTA CLARA, Calif., July 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - McAfee, Inc. (NYSE: MFE) today announced the release of startling research that reveals the true cost of cyber attacks on small and medium sized businesses (SMBs). A key misconception revealed by the survey is that many SMBs feel they are too small to be targets for cybercriminals. The report can be downloaded at http://www.mcafee.com/doessizematter
After sampling 500 IT decision-makers from companies with 1,000 - 2,000 employees, the report reveals that a third (32 percent) of small and medium businesses in the United States and Canada have been attacked more than four times by cybercriminals in the last three years. The research concludes that a quarter of those attacked (26 percent) took at least a week to recover, a devastating length of time to be offline for small businesses who conduct business and sales via the Web. Recovery time in Canada was even greater, with a third (36 percent) taking a week or more to fully restore their systems.
The report highlights the gap between the perceptions of SMBs towards security issues and the realities of cyber attacks. Key statistics from the research include:
"For businesses of all sizes, viruses, hacker intrusions, spyware and spam can lead to lost or stolen data, computer downtime, decreased productivity, compliance issues, lost sales and even loss of reputation," said Darrell Rodenbaugh, senior vice president of the mid-market segment at McAfee. "Just because a business is small does not mean it is immune to security threats."
SMBs are allowing themselves to be vulnerable to IT attacks by failing to allocate an appropriate amount of time and resources to security. Almost half of SMBs (42 percent) dedicate just one hour a week to proactive IT security management, despite the fact that almost one in five (21 percent) acknowledged that an attack could put them out of business.
"Since many of the SMBs surveyed have just one hour per week to spend on IT security, our advice is to find a trusted partner that can help them assess their risk," said Rodenbaugh. "Choosing a managed solution and outsourcing security helps SMBs free up their time to focus on other priorities and feel confident that their IT security needs are being covered by an expert. It can also mean security technologies that are otherwise out of their price range will be available to them."
SMBs may not be as safe from security attacks as they think. Eighty-eight percent of respondents believed they were 'adequately protected,' yet 43 percent of them admitted that they simply accept the default settings on their IT equipment, settings which are often not in line with their specific business needs. The research, conducted by MSI, questioned 500 IT decision makers in organizations in the United States and Canada. Detailed breakdowns are available on request.
McAfee, Inc., headquartered in Santa Clara, California, is the world's largest dedicated security technology company. It delivers proactive and proven solutions and services that secure systems and networks around the world, allowing users to browse and shop the Web securely. With its unmatched security expertise and commitment to innovation, McAfee empowers home users, businesses, the public sector and service providers by enabling them to comply with regulations, protect data, prevent disruptions, identify vulnerabilities and continuously monitor and improve their security. http://www.mcafee.com
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