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Cybercrime Rates Rising For SMBs

U.S. SMB cybercrime rates rose 2% over last year, according to a new survey from Panda Security. Considering some of the other findings it's a wonder the rate didn't rise more.
U.S. SMB cybercrime rates rose 2% over last year, according to a new survey from Panda Security. Considering some of the other findings it's a wonder the rate didn't rise more.46% of U.S. small and midsized businesses have experienced at least one incident of cybercrime, Panda Security reported. The company's findings, based on a survey of 1,500 SMBs in the U.S. (and close to 10,000 worldwide) included some pretty clear explanations for the increase.

According to Panda:

13% of U.S. small businesses have no security tools in place; of those, more than half felt that security was unnecessary or not important

31% operate without anti-spam tools

23% have no anti-spyware

15% have no firewall.

Panda -- which is of course in the business of selling these products (and, to be fair, providing free versions of some of them) -- also noted the number of SMBs using free consumer security products (including Panda's).

Of SMBs that do have some form of security in place, anti-virus software topped the list at 97%.

But 12% of companies with anti-virus in place reported that their a-v solution was out-of-date.

Top attack vectors infecting U.S. small and midsized businesses:

Internet and USBs/external memory devices: 32%

E-mail: 21%

Downloads/P2P: 14%

Panda's findings are in line with others showing an increase in cybercrime, and in some ways that's no news: as more business moves online, more crime moves there too.

What's most interesting about Panda's findings is the 13% of respondents who continue to feel that security is unimportant or unnecessary. Equally distressing -- and in some ways more so -- is the number of respondents who know their anti-virus solution is out-of-date.

Both approaches -- if that's the right word -- invite criminals into the business as a result of neglect or indifference, doorways that can be closed with relatively little effort or expense.

Just as clearly, though, a lot of businesses are continuing to leave those doors wide open.

The complete Panda Security report is here.