Small businesses still not properly secured

Small businesses still not properly secured

While keeping business information safe is one of the most important things a small or midsize company can do, many don't take the necessary precautions when hosting information online. Symantec's SMB Threat Awareness poll said many businesses still need to get up to par when it comes to protecting online information. GeoTrust SSL Certificates and other tools should be used by companies when transferring information online, otherwise, data could be breached much more easily by hackers and scammers.

"A secure, operational network lies at the heart of any successful business," Symantec said. "The goal of every SMB is to keep valuable data secure in the face of growing attacks. How well you protect yourself against these attacks can mean the difference between a successful year and the failure of the company itself."

The poll said 55 to 59 percent of respondents were familiar with security threats such as shortened URLs, mobile devices, keystroke logging and targeted attacks. More than half of the SMBs surveyed, 54 percent, said malware would reduce productivity, and 36 percent said hackers could gain access to business information. Another 46 percent said a targeted attack could cause revenue loss and 20 percent said it would drive customers away.

Even with all of this knowledge, many SMBs don't feel like they are at risk. Symantec said even with 40 percent of targeted attacks directed at small businesses, SMBs don't really believe they are in the line of fire. About 67 percent don't use web-based security or services, 61 percent don't use antivirus software and 47 percent don't use security on email servers.

One company said the importance of Symantec SSL certificates and other types of protection comes when users or customers enter sensitive information. Having a more secure website and method of communication lets these customers know that the business is serious about protecting them and will look much better than a business-security breach would.