21 Nov 2011

Without internet security, small businesses are big targets

With the number of breaches of Candian businesses jumping up 50 percent, according to a study by Telus Corporation and the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management, smaller companies need to keep internet security in mind, as without it they become big targets.

The report said public companies in Canada were hacked an average of 18 times in 2011, which is a big jump from the average of 12 attacks in 2010. Businesses and government office attacks were down about 50 percent, the study said, from 14.6 attacks in 2010 to 7.6 attacks thus far this year. Social networking plays a big role in attacks, the report said.

"The only decision the business can make is to embrace it or attempt to block access," according to the report. "Although there may be several reasons to block, security is not a very effective one. Organizations attempting to block access to social networking for security reasons are facing more breaches than those that don’t, showing that proper dialogue with employees will yield more results than enforcing a technical embargo."

Unisys, an IT company, said that the median cost for an organization to have internet security and fight cyber crime is $5.9 million. The report said this was successful because even though attacks are estimated to increase, they instead have been down on the whole this year.