Small-business utilization of technology platforms such as cloud computing, smart phones, tablets and high-speed internet increased over the past three years. This shift has driven an increase in small-business owners who report they allow employees to telecommute—up from 44 percent three years ago to 60 percent today.
Today, the National Small Business Association (NSBA) today released its 2013 Small Business Technology Survey which provides detailed insight on how small business is faring in today’s ever-changing technology landscape. Among the findings: 94 percent of small-business owners say they are very or somewhat concerned about cybersecurity while nearly half of small businesses report having been the victim of a cyber-attack.
“Small-business owners are handling more of their firm’s IT operations,” stated NSBA President and CEO Todd McCracken. “This growing IT reliance makes issues such as cybersecurity, intellectual property protection and a functional online marketplace critically important in today’s global economy.”
The cost of needed upgrades, security issues and the time it takes to fix problems were rated the top three IT challenges facing small firms. Cyber-attacks cost small businesses on average $8,699 per attack. Among those whose business banking accounts were hacked, the average losses were $6,927, accounts which are not protected the same way traditional consumer banking accounts are—a loophole in the law of which just one in four small businesses are aware.
“Another security concern for small firms revolves around intellectual property, with one in four survey respondents reporting that they own a patent,” said NSBA Chair David Ickert of Air Tractor, Inc. in Olney, Texas. “Unfortunately, among those impacted by the America Invents Act, the overwhelming majority say it has had a negative impact on their business.”