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Nationwide survey finds consumers, businesses unprepared for cyber attacks

ELISSA COLLOPY
Special to the Legal News

Published: October 13, 2020

Many consumers and businesses are underprepared to defend against cyber threats, according to a new survey conducted by Nationwide.
With more people turning to mobile and online purchases and digital business interactions, cyber criminals have found new opportunities to exploit weaknesses.
“Our survey highlights concerning vulnerabilities for consumers and small business owners, many of whom may be more focused on keeping their family or business afloat in tough times, as opposed to guarding against cybersecurity threats,” said Catherine Rudow, vice president of cyber insurance for Nationwide.
According to the survey, three themes were uncovered: small business owners are underprepared and overconfident concerning cybersecurity; middle market business owners have a better handle on cyberthreats; and consumers underestimate their cyber risk exposure.
Nearly half of cyberattacks are aimed at small businesses, according to a 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report.
According to Nationwide’s survey, only 37 percent of small business owners reported believing they are at risk to fall victim to a cyberattack.
About one-third of those business owners also said if their business were to be attacked they were not confident they could recover financially.
“While nearly half of small business owners believe they are prepared to handle a cyberattack, only 17 percent say they have cyber liability insurance and half do not offer cybersecurity training to their employees,” the survey found.
With middle market businesses having a firmer footing, 79 percent feel they are well prepared to address an attack and 80 percent are confident in their ability to recover.
As for consumers, they lack adequate knowledge of common risks, according to the survey.
“Survey data showed that consumers have limited knowledge of cyberthreats as an alarming 40 percent of consumers reported they have never been victim of any sort of cyberattack, including phishing,” the survey found.
Only 62 percent reported knowledge on ID theft, 56 percent about malware and 57 percent about phishing. Even fewer consumers knew how much it would cost to recover from a cyberattack, and of those who did experience an attack, 30 percent reported that it impacted their personal finances.
The survey was conducted by Edelman Intelligence online among a sample of 2,600 small business owners, mid-market business owners, and general consumers.

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