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Most Small Businesses Not Threatened by Cybercrime

December 3, 2010 By: Melanie Gretchen

NCSAAmong the 1,000 small business owners surveyed by Visa Inc. and the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), 85 percent said they are not primary targets of cybercriminals. Rather, 54 percent said they believe they are more prepared to safeguard sensitive customer and corporate data than are large businesses.

The study found small business owners feel they are prepared against cybercrime. Almost 50 percent said they don't believe the online threats to their companies warranted the time and money required to secure their systems. Additionally, 84 percent believe they already have the necessary policies and procedures in place to secure their data and computer systems.

Yet 75 percent of owners said in the last year their employees have received less than three hours of network and mobile device security training, compared with 47 percent whose employees have received none.

Officials at Visa and NCSA emphasized the importance of cybersecurity, citing a case in which Ukraine authorities arrested five people for allegedley stealing $70 million from U.S. bank accounts of small- and medium-sized businesses.

“Cybersecurity investments are critical to protecting a company’s brand and reputation,” said Rosetta Jones, head of public affairs for Visa. “We are focused on partnering with small businesses to ensure that they fully understand the business benefits of running a cyber secure operation.”

Jones detailed the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SS), which maintains a list of payment applications that have been validated as complying with the Payment Application Data Security Standards (PA-DSS). These software applications use secure coding procedures to defend against common attacks and to prevent cybercriminals from installing malware on a company’s computer system.


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