Midsize Firms Easy Pickings For Data Thieves

Business Insurance, October 3, 2011

When it comes to protecting one’s house against intrusion, the common wisdom is to think like a burglar. Helping executives at midsize firms address people risks, such as benefits, workers comp and professional liability; property and liability risks, including insurance and loss control; and operational growth risks such as M&A and product development. Criminals are adept assessors of risk: The house on the block without a fence, a dog and an alarm system vs. other homes that have such security measures is the one to burglarize. The same applies to Internet hackers. Lots of companies have a tantalizing storehouse of personally identifiable information on customers and employees, but the ones hackers are going to attack are those deemed to be the least secure. Right now, this description fits many small and medium-size companies, experts say. Recent studies underscore the threat to middle-market players. According to a joint study by the U.S. Secret Service and New York-based Verizon Communications Inc.’s forensics analysis unit, of the 761 data breaches the unit investigated in 2010, 63% occurred at companies with 100 or fewer employees. A May 2010 survey of more than 2,100 companies worldwide by Cupertino, Calif.-based security software provider Symantec Corp. backs this up, finding that 73% of small and midsize companies experienced a cyber attack in the past year, and that 30% of the attacks were “somewhat/extremely effective.” Apparently, the incidence of attacks against midsize companies is rising. According to a study by McAfee Inc., more than half of global midsize organizations surveyed by the Santa Clara, Calif.-based security software company reported an increase in hacker attacks in 2010 from 2009. http://www.teamshatter.com/topics/database-security/midsize-firms-easy-pickings-for-data-thieves/

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