Tag Archives: social media

More small businesses doing their own technical support

smallbizsurveyimageAn 800 participant survey conducted by the National Small Business Association shows more small businesses are managing their own IT and web sites.  Other differences noted between the 2013 survey and a similar survey conducted in 2010 include:

  • desktop usage grew by 11% (76% to 87%)
  • laptop usage grew by 17% (67% to 84%)
  • smartphone usage grew by 17% (57% to 74%)
  • growth in businesses allowing telecommuting – 16% (44% – 60%)
  • online bank account management grew by 10% (73% – 83%)

Notably there was a 12% drop in businesses using external service providers for technical support and a 15% increase in business owners providing their own technical support.  Similarly, there was an 11% drop in companies paying external providers for web support accompanied by an 18% increase in owners that do it themselves.  (I’m guessing WordPress and other blog frameworks had a lot to do with that.)  Social media presence also grew substantially with LinkedIn leading with a 20% increase.

Verizon Data Breach Study & SMB Factors

Verizon just released their 2013 Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR).  It draws data from work done by several law enforcement agencies, incident-reporting groups, research institutions, and private security firms. It studies over 2,500 confirmed data breaches (representing more than 1 billion records).

Some observations from the report for all company sizes:

  • 75% of attacks were opportunistic, ie a specific company or individual was not directly targeted
  • Attackers consisted of activists, criminals, & spies
  • Of the cases of insider sabotage, 50% came from old accounts or back doors that had not been disabled
  • The vast majority of attacks (68%) were considered “Low” difficulty (meaning basic attack methods with little or no customization required)
  •  ‘Unapproved’ hardware accounted for 41% of misuse
  • It is taking longer to discover breaches, up 10% from 2012.  This means that the bad guy can operate at will for longer periods of time.

Some observations for small and medium sized businesses (employee count < 1000):

  • In companies less than 100 in size, retail had an exceptionally large exposure, followed by food services companies
  • 57% of attacks were from organized crime and 20% were state-affiliated
  • 72% of attacks were from hacking, 54% from malware, and 32% from social media
  • In 86% of the attacks, spyware or keyloggers were installed as a part of the attack
  • SMB’s are at higher risk for ransomware schemes
  • Desktop sharing was primary attack vector for hacking attacks for SMB’s
  • Email was primary vector for social attacks
  • Unapproved hardware contributed to misuse in 52% of cases in small & medium sized companies (compared with only 22% of large companies)
  • Point of Sale devices most often attacked information asset for SMB’s

2013 Data Breach Investigations Report

Executive Summary