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

Veterinarians: Your clients are going to Google with these cat questions

Search engine shares the top 10 questions people asked about dogs and cats in 2014.

Vetcetera: The complex topic of canine fear-related aggression

A guided tour of resources for addressing this popular and complicated subject, featuring advice from Dr. John Ciribassi.

Reality TV and the veterinarian: Discussing mainstream dog training advice with clients

Your clients may be getting behavior advice from cable TV. Get your opinion in the mix.

Blog: Election results pose obstacles for veterinary prescription law

Flip in U.S. Senate's majority may slow progress of Fairness to Pet Owners Act.

7 steps to a better relationship between veterinarians and rescue groups

A DVM in the city shares his advice to veterinary practices for working with rescues.