More than half of small law firms and other businesses say they’re worried about cyber threats, but cost concerns are preventing them from being more proactive in beefing up their defenses.
When it comes to technology, they prefer tools that help with day-to-day operations, like computer accounting and data security programs.
Those are some of the findings from the MetLife & U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index, which surveyed small businesses about their attitudes towards technology adoption, cybersecurity, and data privacy.
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Small Businesses Are Concerned About Cybersecurity
Fifty-four percent of small businesses are concerned about cybersecurity threats, according to the survey. Half of them agree that data privacy issues are a challenge for their business. Other findings:
- Businesses with more 20 employees (57 percent) are more concerned about cybersecurity than smaller businesses.
- Professional service firms (62 percent) are the most likely to be concerned about cybersecurity, while manufacturing firms (44 percent) are the least likely.
- Professional services (59 percent) are significantly more inclined to agree that data privacy issues are a challenge.
When asked what cybersecurity topics they want to know more about, the top responses were:
- Understanding what kind of threats are most prevalent
- Knowing how threats and viruses are spread
- Learning ways they can stay secure
Small Businesses Prefer These Technologies
An overwhelming majority of small businesses (84 percent) use computer accounting systems, and 53 percent use some form of data privacy software. Fifty-two percent use social media management tools, and 50 percent use email marketing tools.
“Less widely used are technologies like cloud computing and big data,” the survey found. “Smartphone apps for scheduling (46 percent), cloud computing (46 percent), customer relationship management (CRM) systems (28 percent), and big data analysis (15 percent) are used by less than half of small businesses. The most widely-used social media platforms are Facebook (90 percent), Instagram (43 percent) and LinkedIn (39 percent).
Preferred Tech Tools
The biggest factor holding small businesses back from adopting new technologies are:
- Cost (44 percent)
- The time it takes for IT training (25 percent)
- Lack of understanding of new technologies (19 percent)
“Cost issues are a particular problem for larger small businesses (20-500 employees),” the survey says. “Fifty percent of businesses with more than 20 employees say cost is a concern in adopting new technology compared to 42 percent for medium-sized (four to 19 employees) businesses. By sector, businesses in services (50 percent) and retail (51 percent) are the most likely to believe that costs are a major barrier for them.”
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