Small and midsize enterprises are likely targets for Internet attacks and many will suffer a successful attack between now and 2003, according to a report released Tuesday by Gartner Group.
Specifically, the survey said that over half of those that manage their own network security and use the Internet for more than e-mail will be hit and more than 60% of companies that are targeted will be unaware of the attacks, which are likely to include Web site hacking and the spreading of viruses, Gartner said in a statement.
SMEs are especially vulnerable to malicious attacks because they usually cannot afford, or do not attract, personnel who have security experience. As a result, part-time employees or personnel with less than top-notch qualifications often manage key enterprise servers, Gartner said.
Moreover, SMEs often use regional ISPs that provide unknown levels of security, which puts SMEs at a greater risk of an attack.
According to Gartner, SMEs should consider four steps to strengthen their network security:
According to Gartner, those four security measures will protect more than two-thirds of SMEs that are connected to the Internet. SMEs that must manage more highly sensitive environments - such as law firms, regional banks, independent insurance agencies, and state and local government agencies - should plan for additional precautions or outsource their security operations to an experienced managed service provider, Gartner said
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