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Singapore SMBs have protection on their minds: Symantec survey

Zafar Anjum | Aug. 19, 2010
New survey reveals SMBs in Singapore are placing increased emphasis on information protection

SINGAPORE, 18 AUGUST 2010 Look at these facts: 67 per cent of Singaporean small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have previously lost confidential and proprietary data, and 73 per cent of them are focusing on enhancing backup, recovery and archiving initiatives.

What do these figures tell you? That Singaporean SMBs are waking up to the horrors of data loss and cyber attacks in a highly challenging security landscape.

This is confirmed by security solutions company Symantec which has today released the Singapore findings of its 2010 Global SMB Information Protection Survey. The survey was commissioned by Symantec and was conducted by a third party in May this year. It involved 100 SMBs in Singapore.

Need to adopt a complete information protection strategy

The survey reveals that small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs with 10 to 499 employees) are aware of the need to adopt a complete information protection strategy that goes beyond a basic anti-virus solution, said a Symantec spokesman.

According to the survey, 62 per cent of the respondents cited data loss as a key concern area and 62 per cent consider cyber attacks as a potential business risk.

The impact of losing critical business information is detrimental for SMBs and can result in damaged reputation and revenue losses, said Tan Yuh Woei, country manager, Symantec. Last year, a Symantec survey found that security awareness levels were lower and many SMBs did not have even a basic anti-virus solution in place. The 2010 survey findings highlight a progressive trend towards SMBs adopting a more comprehensive information protection strategy.

Backup, recovery and archiving find acceptance

In a sort of evolution, Symantec said the new findings indicate that information protection initiatives, such as backup, recovery and archiving, are finding acceptance.

The current annual average spend on IT is about S$12,900 (about US$10,000), said Yuh Woei. A noteworthy trend is a marked increase in the adoption of backup and recovery solutions (73 per cent), as well as new technology such as deduplication (53 per cent), either installed, or in the process of installation.

The other highlights of the survey include:

•    Data Loss and its Impact: According to the survey, 84 per cent consider loss of critical business information a major concern. 67 per cent of respondents lost proprietary or confidential data in 2009, with 64 per cent suffering revenue losses. A significant number (54 per cent) reported negative impact on their image and 48 per cent saw a dip in customer trust.

•    Braving Cyber Attacks: Cyber attacks continue to plague Singaporean SMBs. 54 per cent of SMBs were prone to few cyber attacks this year, while 16 per cent of SMBs faced them on a regular basis. However, 30 per cent of SMBs saw an increase in cyber attacks against their organisation. Out of these attacks, 26 per cent were rated as somewhat/ highly effective.


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