A new report from research group Quocirca (www.quocirca.com) claims that small and medium businesses in Europe are not taking sufficient precautions to safeguard their valuable digital assets. The report surveyed 200 senior SMB managers throughout Europe and found that 90 per cent of medium sized businesses use servers and internal networks, and just 3.5 per cent are not connected to the internet. A third of medium and 90 per cent of small businesses do not have an IT manager, a situation which gives rise to poor data security practices. Half of the businesses quizzed said they had not checked the security of their internet connection, or their ability to recover data from backups within the past 12 months and data protection measures are inconsistently implemented at best.

Service director at Quocirca said “What our research has identified is that small and medium businesses have the basics under control, they do the obvious things like backing up their servers and having firewalls. But they problems when it comes to things that are harder to do, like making sure that their desktops and laptops are regularly backed up or ensuring a standard level of security on all their different computers.”
The report also found that the most common IT malfunction experienced by SMBs is a PC failure, and the most common security threat is an unprotected PC being infected by an email virus. 90 per cent of respondents said they had to retrieve historic data to satisfy auditors or other regulatory requirements, but 75 per cent said they had experienced problems recovering the necessary data.

“There is always going to be a setup issue, either you have somebody with the competency to set IT systems up or you have to pay somebody to do it. What that person needs to do is perform an audit of the current security situation, make sure there’s a standard set of products on each desktop including basic anti-virus, make sure wireless networks are secured, and make sure there’s a regular backup of desktop and laptop computers to a central position which is also regularly backed up. Once these systems are in place they can be automated.”

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