Small firms warned of 'security apathy'

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Small firms warned of 'security apathy'

SMEs not taking security seriously enough.

The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) has called on small businesses to fight " security apathy".

The US-based non-profit organisation warned that hackers and identity thieves are increasingly targeting small businesses.

A recent FBI study found that 90 percent of small businesses had suffered at least one cyber-security incident within the past year, yet most small businesses are not doing enough to protect their businesses or customers, the NCSA said.

"Even though small businesses recognise the need to make cyber-security a priority, many are intimidated by the perceived resources needed to implement the right security plan," said Ron Teixeira, executive director of the NCSA.

The NCSA has released seven tips designed to help small businesses secure their networks and computer systems. The organisation's Staysafeonline.org website advises small businesses to:

  • Ensure that employees use effective passwords and, when possible, stronger authentication technology
  • Install and use antivirus, anti-spyware and firewalls on all computers in the business
  • Keep all software up to date with the most recent patches
  • Make weekly back-ups of all important data/information
  • Create a contingency plan to recover after an emergency
  • Protect customer data from hackers and thieves using encryption
  • Report internet crime to local law enforcement agencies, the FBI, Secret Service or State Attorney General's offices.
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