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Small businesses fear cyber threats

September 1, 2017

Majority of Small Businesses Concerned about Cybersecurity Threats

Via U.S. Chamber of Commerce

The MetLife & U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index (Index), released today, found that almost 60 percent of all small business owners surveyed are concerned about cybersecurity threats. Companies with 20 to 99 employees are much more likely to be concerned—with one in five feeling very concerned—than companies with fewer than 20 employees.

“Cybersecurity poses a threat to all businesses, but it is particularly challenging for small businesses,” said Ann M. Beauchesne, senior vice president, National Security and Emergency Preparedness Department, U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “With a security plan in place and the support they need, small businesses can turn cyber challenges into opportunities to innovate, create jobs, and grow the economy. Awareness, education, and public-private partnerships can help small businesses improve security.”

Cybersecurity is no longer a simple IT issue; it has become a core business issue and a top resource priority. Small businesses, because of limited resources and bandwidth, are often the most vulnerable to cyber threats. Both the Department of Homeland Security and the Small Business Administration cite data showing that 44 percent of small businesses reported being the victim of a cyberattack with an average cost of approximately $9,000 per incident and that nearly 59 percent do not have a contingency plan on how to deal with a data breach.

“While cyber threats are often associated with larger companies, they afflict businesses of all sizes,” said James W. Reid, executive vice president for Regional & Small Business Solutions at MetLife. “The goal of our Index is to elevate the voice of the small business owners to better understand the issues that stand in their way. By doing so, everyone can work towards solutions that translate into small business success.”

The protection of businesses’ digital assets ensures the free flow of commerce and information, which drives the economy. The Chamber’s Cybersecurity Education and Awareness campaign seeks to educate businesses of all sizes to the cyber threat and urges them to adopt basic cybersecurity fundamentals (e.g. use the NIST framework) to reduce network weaknesses, engage cybersecurity providers, and partner with law enforcement agencies before an incident.

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