The new digital era has its benefits as it allows small businesses to reach wider audiences and ultimately attain their business objectives. A variety of computerized and Internet tools are designed to make small companies more efficient. On the other hand, they also expose them to high information security risks. With digital theft as the most reported fraud, surpassing physical theft, small businesses need to consider ways to secure their confidential materials.
No business is too small for information security. Threats are lurking at every corner, endangering the survival of small businesses in this already, very competitive setting. Here are some statistics related to the attitude of small businesses towards information security, which explains at a large extent why there are so many theft incidents of digital information:
Info-graphic Source: www.shredit.com
Information Security Stats For United States
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• There are 24.6 million small businesses in the United States, a number which continues to grow every year as more and more professional individuals embark on the road to entrepreneurship.
• 25% of small businesses do not even consider shredding their documents, which is the minimum security measure that any business can implement as far as disposal of important documents.
• 6.7 million small businesses (27% of the total number) have never even completed an information security risk assessment so as to be properly informed on how exposed they are to information risks.
• 36% of small businesses in the United States have no policies for information storage or disposal, which makes 8.8 million small businesses constantly exposed to information attacks.
• 31% have never trained their employees about the importance of information security; employees are the very first line of defense against security threats related to confidential information.
• 14 million don’t have a secure method of document disposal, which results in 56% of small business in the United States at danger of security breaches.
Information Security Stats For Canada
• There are 2.3 million small businesses across Canada, considered the very backbone of the Canadian Economy.
• 47% of them believe that a security breach would not impact their business; this unawareness or ignorance of the actual risks leads to disastrous effects in the long term.
• 28% of small businesses are not aware of legal compliances and legislation that apply to the security of their business.
• 870,000 don’t have a protocol for the storage and disposal of confidential data, which is comparable to the United States statistics in this respect.
• One third of small businesses have no person responsible for their customer, employee, and confidential business information, which again, leaves small businesses completely naked in front of cyber attacks or other type of information security breaches.
• 56% don’t have a secure method of document disposal, not even the most common method of shredding.
These figures are very worrying for experts in information security as they show that small businesses are either not fully aware of the risks or they prefer to ignore them. As the global economy is slowly recovering from the blows of the recession, security threats are increasing. As entrepreneurs are busier than ever to grow their business and get back on track, they ignore the security aspect and expose their work to malicious attacks.