Small businesses lack cybersecurity savvy

Small businesses lack cybersecurity savvy

Study suggests American businesses have a false sense of security when it comes to the Internet
Nov 13, 2009
By staff

What you don't know—or aren't concerned about— can hurt you, your clients, your employees, and your practice. That’s because without proper cybersecurity training and education, your practice is at risk of losing vital customer and company data. Chances are, you're like most small businesses in America. You store client information, including credit card data, and practice financial records online. At least, that’s what the latest data from the National Small Business Cybersecurity Study suggests.

According to the study, co-sponsored by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and Symantec, 65 percent of U.S. small business store customer data online, 33 percent credit card data, and 43 percent keep financial records online. However, only 28 percent of those companies had formal Internet security policies. And of those that did, only 35 percent provided training to employees. What’s more, of the 62 percent of businesses using a wireless network, 25 percent do not use a password to protect their system, the study shows.

One reason small businesses may be so lax with Internet safety and security is because they feel it isn't a priority to their clients. Only 6 percent of respondents said they feared losing customer data and 42 percent said they believed their customers were concerned with their IT security. Another reason may be that 9 out of 10 business owners trust that the policies they have in place are sufficient protection. But NCSA questions if that trust is misplaced. The study found that 11 percent of these owners never check their computers to ensure their anti-virus systems are up-to-date.

So if you store sensitive information online, consider upgrading your cybersecurity awareness and education to ensure your and your clients’ safety.

Hot topics on dvm360

Dog of Dallas Ebola patient will not be euthanized, authorities say

Health officials have quarantined and will monitor dog and amid concerns surrounding deadly virus.

Video: How to perform a belt-loop gastropexy

Prevent GDV in your at-risk patients with this simple technique.

Stretch your skills to earn more in veterinary practice

Finding new tasks could be the key to generating more income for your practice—and boosting your pay.

Veterinary community stunned by Sophia Yin's unexpected death

Prominent veterinary behaviorist died of suicide Sept. 28.

Study shows sustained salary slump for veterinary support staff

Since 2009, technicians paid by the hour have experienced a bump in pay, but pay for other team members has stayed stagnant, according to data from the 2014 Firstline Career Path Study. Here’s a look at changes in team pay from 2009 to 2013.