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Small biz owners ignoring security

Posted by Michael Bloch in ecommerce (Thursday July 31, 2008 )

A recent survey by McAffee found that many small business owners felt their operations were too small to worry about cybercrime, yet a third of small and medium businesses in Northern America have been the target of cybercrims repeatedly over the past three years.

The survey found that of 500 small to medium businesses surveyed, 42 percent dedicate just one hour a week to proactive IT security management. Over half of the businesses believe that because they aren’t high profile, they won’t be targeted.

After having recently completed a 6 year stint in the hosting industry, I can assure you that’s not the case. The company’s system administrator was constantly fending off attacks on our client’s sites. The scum of the Internet *know* that security isn’t high up on the priority list for many small businesses, nor do they have the resources to track back compromises, so this makes little guys particularly juicy targets.

In regards to the businesses mentioned that were attacked, McAffee’s research found that a quarter of USA victims took at least a week to recover, and over a third in Canada. A week is a long time, particularly if you’re struggling already.

There’s all sorts of things you can do as a small online business owner to take precautions against hackers and other bottom dwelling creatures of the web – pick up some basic anti-hacking tips in this article. A great way to expose vulnerabilities is to get PCI compliant. PCI stands for Payment Card Industry.

The process isn’t all that expensive or difficult and once you achieve compliancy, not only will you be sweet with the card issuing companies (who are increasingly demanding PCI compliance), but you’ll sleep better at night knowing that the major issues have been attended to.

Read more of the McAffee report


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