A new survey from online security firm GFI Software found that 40 percent of small and mid-sized businesses have suffered a security breach because of unsafe web surfing. Since just about every business uses the Internet in some shape or form, Internet and website security are two things to which business need to pay attention.
“[Surfing the web] cannot be without adequate protection,” said Phil Bousfield, General Manager of the GFI Infrastructure Business Unit.”There can be catastrophic losses if customers feel that they have been compromised.”
Bousfield also said that sometimes, a security breach isn’t something that you’d know about right away. It may only be noticed when the computer starts to run a little more slowly, or when hard drives and data start to get damaged.
“We can predict if a website will be malicious,” said David Attard, Product Manager for GFI Software. “95 percent of new websites are spam or malicious, and are offline within a week. We block those sites and prevent you from going there.”
An interesting finding in this survey is that 55 percent of SMBs that use a web monitoring solution indicate that defense against infected websites is not their main priority. The main priority is to keep employees from surfing the web all day.
“The Internet is a time sink,” Bousfield said. “Companies don’t want their employees doing something that’s not in the company’s interest. They don’t want them going to morally questionable sites.”
GFI produces a variety of apps that do everything from email security and archiving, to data backup and network service monitoring. GFI’s WebMonitor would allow businesses to classify websites, such as pornography and gambling sites, along with those malicious sites as places that they don’t want employees going to. Essentially, this tool can allow the employer to set Internet policy, and enforce it.
“These are the utilities necessary to have a successful small business,” said Bousfield. “Small businesses don’t want enterprise-level complexity, but they do want enterprise-level protection.”
Other key findings from the survey include:
- Nearly one in three (27.5%) of SMBs do not have a policy in place to govern employee use of social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
- 16% of SMBs have a social networking use policy, but have no way of monitoring whether employees are adhering to it.
- 42.5% of respondents do not have a solution in place that measures the safeness of a given website based on a rating of its reputation, but 27% say this is a capability they would be interested in.