A new survey released last week by insurance company Nationwide found that 8 out of 10 small business owners do not have a cyberattack-response plan in place despite the recent well-publicized attacks on some of the country’s biggest businesses. In addition, 46 percent reported that they thought their current software was secure enough, with 40 percent saying that they didn’t think their company would be affected by a cyberattack. This is true despite the fact that a majority of those surveyed had been victims in the past of at least one type of attack.

Despite being largely unprepared with an “it won’t happen to me” attitude, 73 percent of small business owners report being concerned about cyberattacks, with 63 percent saying they’ve been a victim of at least one type of attack, whether it be computer viruses, hacking, data breach, or phishing.

According to Nationwide associate vice president Tony Fenton, the risk of cyberattacks to the solvency of small and medium size businesses is as great as the risk of fire and theft. Cyberattacks are serious business for small companies, often resulting in the loss of a company’s computer data, losses associated with identity theft, and sometimes devastating disclosures of the personal information of customers.

One big cyberattack problem that has emerged lately involves the hijacking of computer systems, where the attacker demands ransom in exchange for returning control of the system to the businesses. Another big area of risk that businesses need to be aware of lies in the area of social media, where employers allow employees to use office/business computers to access social media sites like Facebook and Instagram, as well as their own personal emails. This seems harmless enough, but it can expose the company to hackers and also (via emails from unknown senders) release viruses into the system.

The Nationwide surveyed canvassed 500 small business owners.


Williams, Mark. “Small-Business Owners Don’t Plan for Cyberattacks, Survey Finds.” Security Info Watch. 11/11/15.

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