WASHINGTON, D.C.—The MetLife & U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index (Index), released today, found that almost 60 percent of all small business owners surveyed are concerned about cybersecurity threats. Companies with 20 to 99 employees are much more likely to be concerned—with one in five feeling very concerned—than companies with fewer than 20 employees.
“Cybersecurity poses a threat to all businesses, but it is particularly challenging for small businesses,” said Ann M. Beauchesne, senior vice president, National Security and Emergency Preparedness Department, U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “With a security plan in place and the support they need, small businesses can turn cyber challenges into opportunities to innovate, create jobs, and grow the economy. Awareness, education, and public-private partnerships can help small businesses improve security.”
Cybersecurity is no longer a simple IT issue; it has become a core business issue and a top resource priority. Small businesses, because of limited resources and bandwidth, are often the most vulnerable to cyber threats. Both the Department of Homeland Security and the Small Business Administration cite data showing that 44 percent of small businesses reported being the victim of a cyberattack with an average cost of approximately $9,000 per incident and that nearly 59 percent do not have a contingency plan on how to deal with a data breach.
“While cyber threats are often associated with larger companies, they afflict businesses of all sizes,” said James W. Reid, executive vice president for Regional & Small Business Solutions at MetLife. “The goal of our Index is to elevate the voice of the small business owners to better understand the issues that stand in their way. By doing so, everyone can work towards solutions that translate into small business success.”
The protection of businesses’ digital assets ensures the free flow of commerce and information, which drives the economy. The Chamber’s Cybersecurity Education and Awareness campaign seeks to educate businesses of all sizes to the cyber threat and urges them to adopt basic cybersecurity fundamentals (e.g. use the NIST framework) to reduce network weaknesses, engage cybersecurity providers, and partner with law enforcement agencies before an incident.
About the Index
The MetLife & U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index is the product of 1,000 telephone interviews in April 2017 with American small business owners and operators conducted by Ipsos, an independent global market and research company. Each respondent was asked the same set of ten questions that compose the Index. The survey findings have been calibrated to match the U.S. Census data on small business to better ensure the data is representative of the small business sector at large.
The second edition produced an overall score of 62.3, up 1.7 points from the inaugural score of 60.6 (on a scale of 0 to 100), which indicates that 62.3 percent of small business owners currently have a positive outlook for their company and the environment in which they operate. The score takes into account small business owners’ responses to 10 questions spanning three topics: the current health of their business; their views on the economy and other external forces that impact their company; and their plans and expectations for the near future.
Please visit www.SBIndex.us for the full results and methodology.