Michigan Hosting Providers Offer Cost-Effective IT Security for SMBs

National Cyber Security Awareness MonthOctober is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, powered by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), and the theme of Week 3 is Online Safety for Business/Industry. According to StaySafeOnline.org, smaller businesses have become bigger targets for cybercriminals due to the known lack of resources and security defenses when compared to larger organizations. Every small and medium-sized business in Michigan should be aware of the risks and understand the IT security services available to help them offered by local Michigan hosting providers.

NCSA published a 2012 National Small Business Study in partnership with Symantec to study a sample of U.S. small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) nationwide, and analyze their online and security behavior. Although 46 percent of respondents reported a safe and trusted Internet was very critical to their business’s success, a nearly identical 47 percent think there would be no impact on their business if they were to suffer a data breach, stating that a breach would be viewed as an isolated incident. However, Symantec’s 2011 SMB Disaster Preparedness Survey reports that the average cost of downtime for an SMB is $12,500 per day. Read more in 2011 SMBs & Disaster Recovery in the Cloud.

When asked if SMBs had a privacy policy that their employees must comply with when handling customer or employee information, 62 percent responded ‘No’ or ‘Not sure.’ This is even more alarming given the types of sensitive information the companies deal with – 53 percent typically handle customer data; 35 percent handles financial records and reports; and 30 percent handle credit cardholder data.

Any company that handles credit cardholder data must abide by PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards) – our Technical Security services list each tool that is required to meet compliance standards. Staff training is also key for data security – according to the Symantec report, 68 percent of respondents do not provide employee training on how to keep computers secure.

Two-Factor Authentication

Two-Factor Authentication

When it comes to access controls, 75 percent of SMBs don’t use multifactor/strong/two-factor authentication, and only 14 percent of SMBs require the use of two-factor authentication for access to any of their networks. Seventy-two percent of SMBs also don’t have policies or guidelines for how employees use mobile or remote devices.

Lack of funds is the reason behind why 29 percent of the companies don’t invest in security tools, whereas 10 percent don’t believe investing in these tools will yield return. However, 24 percent report they would put their extra money toward backup if they could.

These statistics show that SMBs may not have the resources or knowledge to put strong security controls in place in their organizations, but they can outsource their IT to a trusted third party if they can’t invest in their own staff. For Michigan small and medium-sized businesses, they can outsource their hosting and security services to a local Michigan data center operator and hosting partner to save on costs. Download our PCI Hosting and HIPAA Hosting white papers to get informed and make an educated hosting decision.

About National Cyber Security Awareness Month
Individuals, organizations, and communities throughout the United States are gearing up to promote National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) and let others know that all of us have a role in protecting our digital lives. Tens of thousands of NCSAM participants across the country will be doing their part by posting safety and security tips on social networks, educating their customers and employees, engaging in traditional media, displaying posters, posting tips, holding events, and much more.

About the National Cyber Security Alliance
NCSA’s mission is to educate and therefore empower a digital society to use the Internet safely and securely at home, work, and school, protecting the technology individuals use, the networks they connect to, and our shared digital assets.

References:
Stay Safe Online: Keep My Business Safe
Business Safe Online: Resources

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