Computer Crime Research Center


Small business and Internet security

Date: May 21, 2007

A degree of scepticism is usually healthy when considering the results of surveys, especially those sponsored by bodies with a commercial or political axe to grind. But that doesn't mean there's nothing to be learned from them.

So before we get into the results of a survey of the Internet security and storage habits of small to medium businesses in Australia and New Zealand, let's establish that it was commissioned by Symantec (which sells security and data protection products), it was conducted over the web (raising self-selection issues, for example), and there were only 301 Australian respondents. The following discussion refers to the Australian results.

The basics seem to be in place: at least three-quarters have an Internet security policy, update their security software at least weekly, and use spam filters. 90 percent backup at least weekly, but only a less impressive 50 percent manage a daily backup. Given that 40 percent say they recover files from backups at least once a month, a daily backup of all business data should be considered a minimum requirement. You can't help wondering what the figure would be for companies that would like to be able to recover files but can't.
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