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MIS Asia - Small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs with 10 to 499 employees) are now focused on making protecting their information their highest IT priority, according to Symantec.
The findings of Symantec's 2010 SMB Information Protection Survey indicates that the trend has become different from the situation about 15 months ago when a large number of SMBs did not even use the most basic safeguards.
Threats from cyber attacks
For this study, Symantec surveyed about two thousand SMB executives and IT decision-makers in 28 countries in May 2010. Out of those surveyed, 1,000 respondents were from the Asia Pacific and Japan, including from China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.
More companies are now making IT a priority because of the increase of threats from cyber attacks. In addition, the companies are also dealing with lost devices and loss of confidential or proprietary data.
Michael Chue, managing director, Hong Kong and Greater China region, global business, Symantec, noted that some information such as bank account details, credit card information, and customer and employee records is under increased risk of exposure for small and mid-sized organisations.
Companies that had to face such attacks had to suffer losses in productivity and revenue. Chue added that several businesses in the Asia Pacific and Japan are now taking relevant steps required to protect their confidential information from this time a year ago.
Securing electronic information
The survey shows that Hong Kong SMBs are some of the most careful in the region in terms of securing their electronic information. However, 55 per cent of Hong Kong SMBs polled suffered losses due to some kind of cyber attack in the past year.
These attacks made a negative impact on these SMBs as 51 per cent of those surveyed said they had lost productivity as a result and about 17 per cent reported losing revenue. Fifty-five per cent of respondents in Hong Kong said it was either somewhat important or absolutely important to improve in this area in 2010.
As a result of all these attacks SMBs in the Asia Pacific and Japan are now keeping aside an amount of US$12,500 each year to secure their information. Although 86 per cent of SMBs have a disaster preparedness plan, they still need to improve upon their strategy because only 20 per cent of those surveyed said they find their plan to be very good.
Symantec says SMBs can improve their security by educating employees, safeguarding important business information, implementing an effective backup and recovery plan, and securing e-mail and Web assets.