NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - Small businesses have massively underestimated the threat posed by cybersecurity, according to research released on Monday by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and Symantec (SYMC - Get Report).
The study, which surveyed 1,015 U.S. businesses with less than 250 employees, revealed a glaring disconnect between cybersecurity perception and reality at small- to medium-sized businesses, or SMBs. While more than 77% of respondents said that their company was safe from the likes of hackers, viruses and malware, a massive 83% have no formal cybersecurity plan in place.
The research, released as part of National Cyber Security Awareness Month, also revealed that 66% of SMBs are not concerned about cyber threats. Experts, however, warn that cybercriminals could use small businesses as a "stepping stone" from which to launch attacks.
"SMBs have to realize that data is the coin of the realm in cybercrime," said Michael Kaiser, executive director of the NCSA, in an interview with
TheStreet, pointing to the likes of customer and employee data. "Cybercriminals may use
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