AMSTERDAM and SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Most small businesses are still failing to appreciate the true value of their data after a new study released today by Internet and mobile security company AVG Technologies N.V. (AVG) revealed that 37 percent of small business owners and managers spend more time tidying their desks or ordering new business cards (21 percent) than they do on data backup.
The researchi, which surveyed more than 500 small business owners and managers in North America, showed that while many (75 percent) do rely on automated backup systems, a significant number, around 1-in-4 (24 percent) do not insist that employees back up at least once a week. This is in spite of the fact that 30 percent believe more than half of their data is sensitive.
Given the amount of sensitive data small businesses claim to have, the loss of employee mobile devices should cause concern. In fact, approximately half of small businesses (47 percent) say they have experienced losing a mobile device. Interestingly, the survey showed small business owners do not think the mobile devices in their workforce have a lot of sensitive data on them. There was much more concern about trusting the security of their data to the cloud. When asked about cloud-based backup, 64 percent of SMB owners said security was their top concern.
"Our research shows that while the great majority of small businesses in North America are relatively savvy about the importance of backup, there is still plenty of market education to do, especially when it comes to mobile and cloud platforms," said Mike Foreman, AVG's General Manager, SMB. "In today's mobile and data-driven world it's particularly shocking to hear how business owners still spend more time on physical-world activities like tidying their desks and ordering new business cards than digital ones, which suggests that, despite evidence cybercriminals see value in small business data, business owners themselves are still failing to appreciate the true value of the data held within their systems."
About AVG Technologies (AVG)
AVG's mission is to simplify, optimize and secure the Internet experience, providing peace of mind to a connected world. AVG's powerful yet easy‐to‐use software and online services put users in control of their Internet experience. By choosing AVG's software and services, users become part of a trusted global community that benefits from inherent network effects, mutual protection and support. AVG has grown its user base to 172 million active users as of September 30, 2013 and offers a protection, performance and privacy products and services suite to consumers and small businesses including Internet security, performance optimization, mobile security, online backup, identity protection and family safety software. www.avg.com
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NOTES TO EDITORS
In summary, the main findings in the study were:
- A significant proportion of SMBs routinely spend more time tidying their desk (37%) or ordering new business cards (22% UK, 21% US) than backing up data. It was not even the most routine computer-related task. 43% of UK, 53% of US small businesses said they spend more time changing passwords than backing up.
- The majority of small businesses (59% UK, 54% US) still do not insist employees back up every day. In a high number of cases (68% UK, 75% US) backup is automated by IT systems. Importantly, however, 26% (UK) and 24% (US) of businesses still leave longer than a week between backups or at least do not insist that employee's backup more regularly.
- When it comes to mobile device data around a third of SMBs (32% UK, 34% US) have 0-10% of their workforce out of office at least once a week. At the other end of the scale the rise of mobile device business use is highlighted by those small businesses (11% UK and 17% US) who say 80-100% of their workforce is out more than one day a week.
- Security (50% of SMB owners in the UK and 64% in the US) remains biggest concern when it comes to cloud backup. Other top concerns of both UK and US SMB owners include cost, data recovery and lack of control.
- Almost 1-in-5 (19%) UK businesses (1-in-3 or 30% in the US) say that more than half of their data is business sensitive. About 1-in-3 small businesses in the UK (33%) and 1-in-5 (17% ) in the US – think the overall amount of sensitive data held on their systems is more in the region of 10-25%. The proportion who believe employees mobile devices hold 80-100% sensitive data was relatively low at 8%, while US owners put it at around 13%.
- Mobile device data loss has not yet happened to most small businesses – but it's close (51% UK, 53% US).
- Most SMBs (62% UK, 66% US) are confident that they can prevent data loss when an employee leaves.
- Data loss impacts productivity first (37% UK, 50% US), then revenue (32% UK, 37% US) then customer confidence (31% UK, 39% US).
- When a device is lost or stolen the priority for 39% of UK businesses and 41% US is to ensure data cannot be viewed by unauthorised third parties.
- business cards