Study: 40% of Small Businesses Have Been Victims of Cyberattacks
BY Laura Montini
A new report shows that small business owners might not be prepared for a hacker attack.
According to a recent survey, more than 40 percent of small businesses report that they have been the victims of a cyber attack-- and it has cost them thousands of dollars.
The 2013 Small Business Technology Survey was conducted by The National Small Business Association, a nonpartisan Washington, D.C.-based advocacy organization. The NSBA surveyed more than 800 small business owners and found that the average cost of a single cyber attack to a company was $8,699. In the case of the hacking of a company’s business banking account, average losses were $6,927.
“Exacerbating the cybersecurity issue for small firms is the fact that business checking accounts are NOT protected when it comes to online hacking, unlike consumer accounts. The majority of small firms, 75 percent, aren’t even aware of this,” the report stated.
The survey included answers from small business owners who represented a range of industries from manufacturing to agriculture to finance. Almost all said that said that cybersecurity was either a very important concern or somewhat of a concern for their business.
The NSBA found that there was a decrease in the amount of companies that paid an outside firm to handle their IT needs. In 2010, 36 percent of survey respondents said an external company handled their tech support, compared with 24 percent in 2013. Small business owners are taking on a large share of this responsibility, as 39 percent reported that they themselves are in charge of online security at their company.
While security was ranked as a top three issue when it comes to small business owners’ technology challenges, this particular survey didn’t delve into how companies are handling their concerns. Just last year, a separate survey by the non-profit National Cyber Security Alliance and Symantec found that 83 percent of small businesses don’t have a formal cybersecurity plan.
LAURA MONTINI is a reporter at Inc. She previously covered health care technology for Health 2.0 News and has served as an associate editor at The Health Care Blog. She lives in San Francisco, CA. @lmmontini