The newly released Small Business Authority Market Sentiment Survey reveals that only a fraction of small businesses surveyed have adopted comprehensive strategies to protect sensitive data from common threats.
While small businesses comprise the backbone of the nation's economy, few have taken the necessary steps to ensure that critical company and client data is properly protected from intrusion events, and there is generally a lack of preparation where offsite data storage and recovery is concerned.
"Our survey this month is quite telling about what independent business owners really need to know about the cloud and how misinformed they are about data safety and security," said Barry Sloane, President and CEO of The Small Business Authority.
The survey reveals that less than one third of the 1800 respondents indicated that they have employed independent outside parties test their network defenses, while about two-thirds of respondents expressed confidence their systems were adequately protected against illicit intrusions.
The survey also shows that the small business community is relatively unaware of emerging technologies and services, such as Cloud Computing options, that could ensure efficient data loss prevention and recovery for business continuity.
"Business owners will need to understand what the cloud is and what it can do for their businesses in the areas of cost control, data security, data protection, accessibility, efficiency and productivity to facilitate a smooth running technological platform for their business," Sloane stated.
The report states that "one of the key findings from May’s survey was small business owners’ apparent lack of Cloud Computing knowledge. The full May 2011 results showed the following:"
A primary concern for most small business is resource allocation in non-revenue generating expenditures. Managed services such as data backup provided by Cloud Computing vendors is one way small businesses can ensure adequate data access and preservation at a reasonable cost.
"About 25 percent of our business owners said they understood what cloud computing was. However, when we drilled down deeper most, 78 percent, thought that their data was secure. Yet 71 percent stated their data was not backed up offsite," Sloane stated.
Fully one-third of respondents in the survey indicated they had experienced an interruption to business activities due to a natural disaster, evidence that the adoption of business continuity strategies including off-site data backup solutions is critical to small business operations.
"Server huggers beware. The cloud is approaching; the security blanket of the server in the closet onsite and having an assistant backup important business data and confidential client information needs to be behind us all," said Sloane.