Alarming Survey Results: Sensitive Electronic Data Stored By Small Businesses Is At Risk For A Data Breach

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data breachAccording to a new study from CSID, a global-identity protection and fraud-detection technologies vendor, small businesses that store sensitive data such as social security numbers, email addresses, and phone numbers aren’t properly protected against data attacks and breaches. According to Symantec approximately 31% of cyber-attacks are aimed at small businesses with 250 employees or less.

Bryan Hjelm, Product and Marketing Vice President for CSID, says that many small businesses don’t have the proper knowledge or resources to protect sensitive data. Mr. Hjelm believes that the cloud and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies could pose data-breach threats to these small businesses.

“With the prevalence of BYOD and cloud practices in today’s cyber landscape, small businesses should understand the data-breach risks they face and how to mitigate them,” he said. “Our goal at CSID is to educate and empower small-business owners to help them protect their customers’ sensitive data and keep their businesses free from data breaches,” said Mr. Hjelm.

CSID Survey Results

CSID surveyed small businesses with 100 or fewer employees, and asked them about the types of sensitive data they store, how they respond to cyber-security risks, and what challenges they encounter when implementing a plan for breach preparation.

The survey revealed the following:

  • 55% store social security numbers;
  • 80% store email addresses and phone numbers, and 70% store home addresses for employees, customers and/or partners.
  • 12% have a data breach-preparation plan in place, or are currently creating one;
  • 25% said their budget prohibited them from implementing proper cyber security measures; and
  • Only 43% are comfortable with their current cyber security measures.

These are alarming statistics as the majority of these small businesses are at risk for cyber-attacks and breaches.

If you own a small business, it’s essential that you ensure your customers’ sensitive data is properly protected and secured.  For more information on how to do this, contact CSID at: http://www.csid.com/data-breach/global-id-protector/

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