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Risk

7/27/2009
11:38 AM
Keith Ferrell
Keith Ferrell
Commentary
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Close To Half Of SMBs Defenseless Against Cybercrime: Panda

44% of U.S. small and midsized businesses have suffered at least one incident of cybercrime, according to a study just out from Panda Security. And considering how spotty, inconsistent and just plain missing SMB defenses are, it's a wonder the figure isn't any higher than it is.

44% of U.S. small and midsized businesses have suffered at least one incident of cybercrime, according to a study just out from Panda Security. And considering how spotty, inconsistent and just plain missing SMB defenses are, it's a wonder the figure isn't any higher than it is.The Panda study looked at close to six thousand businesses worldwide, 1,400 of them from the U.S. and found that:

44% of U.S. small and midsized businesses had been affected by cybercrime:

41% had been infected by viruses

26% had experienced spyware intrusions.

Worldwide, the figures were even higher, with 58% of businesses reporting cybercrime issues.

The stunner in the study, though, were the numbers that explain why the crooks are getting through the gates.

Simple reason: the gates at a whopping number of small and midsized businesses are simply left open... if there are gates at ll.

By the numbers:

97% of SMBs claim to have anti-virus solutions in place, and 95% of those are confident their anti-virus is up-to-date. (That up-to-date figure, based on the number of respondents who've had a virus get through, says a lot more about false confidence than it does about consistent updating of anti-virus products.)

But:

29% have NO anti-spam protection.

22% have NO antispyware defenses.

16% have NO firewall.

52% percent have NO Web filters.

No word in Panda's statements about how many of the businesses are running unpatched, but no doubt in my mind that the figures would fit right in with the dire -- disastrous -- numbers for anti-spam, -anti-spyware, and the absolutely shocking figure on firewall-free businesses.

Explanations respondents gave Panda for the lack of proper defenses included 20% who felt the solutions were too expensive, and 27% who felt that some of the defenses simply weren't necessary.

One of those answers is, from my perspective, just plain wrong. The variety and range of defensive solutions is enormous, and so is the range of prices, from high-end full service products and contracts to the firewalls that are included as part of the most widely used operating systems.

The other answer -- some defenses are unnecessary -- is just plain foolish, and the numbers not only bear bear out that judgment, they quantify exactly what the cybercriminals are counting on and profiting from.

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