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Small Businesses Beef Up Security

Increasing security the No. 1 reason SBOs update technology

July 8, 2014

Data security is one of the biggest concerns for small businesses. A May 2014 study conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs for Microsoft found that it ranked second out of the technology challenges US small-business owners (SBOs) experienced, cited by 22% and only trailing cost issues.

Technology Challenges Experienced by US Small-Business Owners, May 2014 (% of respondents)

April 2014 polling by Redshift Research for Time Warner Cable Business Solutions found that worries about security had a bigger effect on technology adoption than cost concerns did, though.

Nearly 40% of US SBOs said they had updated the technology used in their businesses over the past five years to increase the security of their companies’ data—the No. 1 reason for doing so, beating out upgrades to save money (36%). Fully 29% of respondents also planned to purchase or upgrade their security technology over the next year, the second most popular response after websites (36%).

Actions that US Small-Business Owners Are Taking to Protect Against Security Risks, by Business Size, May 2014 (% of respondents in each group)

In a May 2014 survey by Research Now for CSID, working with third-party vendors was the top action US SBOs were taking to protect against security risks. However, smaller small businesses were less likely to be taking steps to handle security threats, with 42% of respondents from companies with between zero and nine employees not taking any measures to protect themselves. Meanwhile, around one-quarter of businesses with between 10 and 99 employees weren’t doing anything.

Which security threats were keeping SBOs awake at night? Undetected malware was the biggest one, cited by nearly two-thirds of respondents to the CSID/Research Now study. Worries about employee errors, phishing and cyberattacks also landed toward the top of the list.

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