September 21, 2016 – In a new survey out today from Carbonite (NASDAQ:CARB) 81% of Small Business Owners (SBOs) say the U.S federal government should be working harder to stop cyber attacks against small businesses, and 86% say a presidential candidate’s position on preventing cyber threats is an important factor in deciding who gets their vote this November. With more than 28 million small businesses in the U.S., SBOs are becoming increasingly vocal and influential this election season, and candidates, especially at the presidential level, should take note.
The Carbonite survey shows a growing disconnect between the needs of small business owners and the priorities of elected officials. Over two-thirds of SBOs say that they do not think either of the presidential candidates understands the concerns of a small business owner, with four-in-five saying that regardless of who wins in November, they do not expect Washington to do anything to help their business.
Carbonite’s survey also reveals:
• Small Business Owners believe D.C. is leaving them vulnerable to cyber threats: 75% of SBOs say they can’t trust the government to help combat threats against their business and 81% say elected officials should be working harder to stop cyber threats against small businesses. Therefore, preventing foreign cyber threats is a key issue for 86% of SBOs when they cast their vote in November. What’s more, 65% say the candidates’ position on encryption is important in deciding for whom to vote, demonstrating that the Apple-FBI encryption debate remains top of mind.
• SBOs say the federal government is hurting, not helping, their business: 68% of SBOs do not think either of the presidential candidates understand their concerns, and 74% say politicians in Washington are actually hurting small businesses, not helping them. The result? 78% say that regardless of who wins the election, they don’t expect Washington to do anything to help their business.
• Younger Small Business Owners are more cyber-aware: Small Business Owners, ages 18 – 40, are nearly twice as likely as those 41 and older to recognize the probability of a ransomware attack, the malicious virus that locks users out of computer systems. Businesses that have been in operation for less than 10 years are also more likely to acknowledge ransomware risk, the survey finds. Younger entrepreneurs are three times more likely to admit that they’ll lose customers as the result of a cyber attack, verses their elder peers who believe it is far less likely (19%).
• SBOs recognize the value of data but lack the ability to secure it: 68% of SBOs report data is their new business currency. However, the majority (54%) say that they have no idea what they’d do if their organization fell victim to an external attack. Further, 58% say protecting mobile content adds complexity to data security. More than one third of respondents say it’s likely there will be a hack against their data in the coming year. That’s why a growing number of small businesses (44%) believe the federal government should play a more active role in making sure small businesses protect their data. In fact, more than one-third (36%) believes the government should mandate data backup procedures to avoid unnecessary data loss.
“This November, the country is facing the first open election in eight years. With more than 28 million small businesses in the U.S. generating seven out of ten new jobs per year, that voting bloc is too important to ignore,” said Norman Guadagno, chief evangelist at Carbonite. “Small businesses are on the vanguard of creation and change in this country and they’re creating an entirely new data-based economy. Unfortunately, elected officials aren’t recognizing their needs, especially when it comes to helping them protect the lifeblood of their business: their data.”
To learn more about how to protect individuals or small businesses from cybersecurity threats, like ransomware, visit FightRansomware.com or follow @FightRansomware on Twitter.
Learn why backup software is essential for business. Learn more best practices to manage and protect small business data by visiting Carbonite’s suite of resources:
This online survey was conducted by Regina Corso Consulting on behalf of Carbonite between August 16 and 22, 2016 among 250 small business owners, who are also IT purchasing decision makers for their companies with between 1 and 250 employees. Figures for size of company were weighted to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in an online survey, no estimates of sampling error can be calculated.
Carbonite (Nasdaq:CARB) is a leading provider of cloud backup and restore solutions for small and midsize businesses. Together with our partners we protect millions of devices and their valuable data for businesses and individuals around the world who rely on us to ensure their important data is secure, available and useful.
Sarah King, Carbonite
Jonathan Gregalis, PAN Communications (for Carbonite)