Small and midsize business is the lifeblood of the American economy, and data is the new currency of business. Nearly 28 million companies with fewer than 500 employees account for 64 percent of net new jobs in the US. And, according to a recent study by data archive company Carbonite, a vast majority of small company owners are fearful that a cyberattack could have a deleterious impact on business.

“As small businesses increase across the country, they are becoming more and more vital to our national economy,” explained Carbonite’s chief evangelist Norman Guadagno in a recent interview. “IDC estimates that a single data hack could have associated costs ranging from $82,200 to $256,000. Small businesses do not have the same resources as larger enterprises and a single hack can put them in significant risk of losing their business.”

SEE: Threat intelligence: Forewarned is forearmed (Tech Pro Research report)

Moreover, Guadagno said, SMBs are not confident that American digital security policy is robust. A whopping 74 percent of business owners believe politicians are not doing enough to protect SMBs. “[The government] needs to place more emphasis on issues of national cybersecurity and the protection of all businesses, not just large enterprises,” Guadagno explained. “Small business owners are becoming an increasingly critical part to our economy and it’s crucial that their security is taken into account as much as larger organizations.”

Carbonite recently published a survey and infographic that highlights the cyber-concerns of small business.

  • 68 percent of small business owners do not think [politicians] understand their concerns.
  • 75 percent of small businesses say they can’t trust the government to help combat threats.
  • 65 percent say the candidates’ position on encryption influenced their voting decision in the presidential election, demonstrating that the Apple-FBI encryption debate remains top of mind.
  • 34 percent of small businesses say it’s likely that they’ll have an attempted data hack in the upcoming year.
  • 81 percent of small businesses think politicians should work to decrease cybercrime.

SEE: Security awareness and training policy (Tech Pro Research report)

“Almost one in five small business owners say their company has had a loss of data in the past year,” Guadagno said, “yet 54 percent say if they were hacked from the outside, they would not know what to do.” To that end, he recommends companies concurrently pay close attention to federal cybersecurity and develop an internal plan for cyberdefense that includes formal security and awareness training, mandated backups, and preventative hardware maintenance. “Not only will this help for any compliance issues,” he said, “but if a company is hacked, they will have faster recovery of their data.”

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