A recent survey of small business owners showed that while 77 percent believe that security is important for their company’s brand, many secure practices are not implemented in these businesses.  Here are some details from the study.  Only 59 percent of small businesses surveyed have a contingency plan in place for protecting against data breaches.  23 percent have established social media policies, 14 percent have a written cyber-security plan and 38 percent have a privacy policy outlining how customer or employee information should be handled.

More troubling is the fact that small businesses are satisfied with their security and they are not concerned about the threat of a data breach.  86 percent of those surveyed said they are satisfied with the security they provide.   47 percent believe that if a breach were to occur, it would be an isolated incident with no impact on their business and 66 percent are not concerned with the threat of data theft from a hacker, employee or contractor.

Despite this belief, the Ponemon institute found that 78 percent of organizations had at least one data breach in the last two years.  According to Business News, these breaches cost on average $200,000, a sum that most small businesses would not consider insignificant.  This cost includes investigation, notification, remediation and lost revenue and reputation.

This month is cyber-security awareness month so please consider the threat of a data breach and the controls you can put in place to reduce this threat.