There is a whole lot of truth to this statement from the FCC: "American small businesses are key drivers of innovation, economic growth and job creation. Small businesses employ more than HALF of all private sector workers, and they have generated about two-thirds of net new jobs over the past 15 years. Small businesses drive innovation, producing 13 times more patents per employee than large firms."
The FCC goes on to explain that "Broadband and information technology is increasingly important to the success of our economy, to jobs and to the future of small business. Broadband connectivity and online business tools are powerful factors in small businesses reaching new markets, increasing productivity and efficiency, and generating economic growth. A recent study found that having a broadband connection makes a $200,000 a year difference in median annual revenues for businesses."
When you couple that with the ever increasing number of hacks - whether for identity theft or credit card numbers or corporate data - cyber-security becomes important. Add IP-PBX and VoIP lines to the mix and security isn't something that should be forgotten or left off due to the budget line expense. But it does. And it has a cost.
The FCC, as part of National Cyber-Security Month, joined with the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Chamber of Commerce and several corporate executives to unveil a new FCC online tool-- the Small Biz Cyber Planner. "The planner is an easy-to-use, free online tool that will create a customized planning guide to help small businesses protect themselves from cyber-security threats."
Symantec and The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) released results of a survey finding that only 52% of small businesses have a cyber-security plan or strategy. That's not really surprising because most think it won't happen to me. Yet the statistic remains that a new computer attached to the Internet takes less than 20 minutes to be attacked.
"The survey also found 77% of small businesses do not have a formal Internet security policy for employees." This is an example of how you can help your clients by pointing this out and having a discussion about security measures - even simple ones like password management and usage. And as data moves to the Cloud, access security via devices becomes more troubling and requires written policies in place that are closely followed.