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Symantec Survey Reveals Canadian SMBs Are Not Implementing Basic Security Practices

2009 SMB Storage and Security Survey Cites IT Spending and Lack of Budget as Major Barriers to Protecting Data

TORONTO -- (Marketwire) -- 05/07/09 -- Symantec Corp. (NASDAQ: SYMC) today released the Canadian findings of its 2009 Storage and Security Small and Midsized Business (SMB) survey. The study found while nine out of 10 (94 per cent) Canadian SMBs understand the importance of protecting their information, many have yet to implement basic security solutions such as antivirus and backup/recovery.

"The importance of security is undisputed. As the report indicates, security and data protection are essential priorities for Canadian small and midsized businesses," said Michael Murphy, vice president and general manager, Symantec (Canada) Corp. "Unfortunately, we continue to see SMBs lack the necessary budget and awareness of threats to ensure confidential data is secure, which can impact their bottom line. As the workforce becomes more mobile and adapts to new technologies to improve business efficiency, organizations must prepare for the future and be aware of the solutions available to them."

As the number of mobile workers continues to grow, Canadian SMBs need to take the proper measures to ensure their endpoints are protected. According to the survey findings, 60 per cent of companies polled have yet to implement an endpoint protection solution (software that protects "endpoints" such as laptops, desktops and servers against malware). This is despite the fact that one quarter (25 per cent) of companies polled do not have password protected desktops and laptops, and more than half (54 per cent) have had a lost or stolen laptop or Smartphone.

Top Security Barriers

The survey investigated several variables to determine the reasons why Canadian SMBs are not fully protecting their company's confidential data. When asked to identify the top barriers preventing organizations from creating a more secure environment, the survey found 47 per cent lacked adequate budget, with the median IT security budget being just $6,000 CAD per year. Additionally, one in four respondents identified the skills of employees as a top barrier, and one in three indicated there was not enough time to complete all security related tasks.

"It is no surprise that Canadian SMBs identified lack of budget as the main reason why they are not properly protecting their IT assets and data," said Murphy. "The reality, however, is the cost of security to help prevent a data breach far outweighs the costs a data breach may bring to a company not only financially, but to its public image and customer confidence as well."

Additional Security Gaps

Almost one in three (27 per cent) companies polled have suffered a data breach (an instance where information has been subject to unauthorized access, often where the data is lost, stolen, or hacked into), further driving the importance of properly safeguarding important information. Despite these numbers, however, SMBs continue to lack basic security. For example, 35 per cent of respondents still do not have the most basic security solution installed -- antivirus protection. Further, 55 per cent of companies polled do not have server backup/recovery protection (40 per cent), or antispam protection (46 per cent).

What is the Good News?

According to the survey, Canadian companies are aware of the latest threats impacting their business. Seventy-nine per cent of SMBs polled are somewhat or extremely concerned with viruses. Other top concerns included phishing emails, loss of information and data breaches.

The report also noted that despite the current economic climate, 91 per cent of Canadian SMBs anticipated their IT budget to remain the same or rise within the next 12 months, with 43 per cent of budgets estimated to remain the same and 48 per cent estimated to rise. This increase in spending strongly indicates that SMBs are beginning to view IT security as a valuable tool to help meet bottom line objectives.

About the 2009 Security and Storage SMB Survey

Symantec's Storage and Security in SMBs survey was conducted in February of 2009 by Applied Research. The study targeted 1,425 small and medium sized businesses (10-500 employees) located in 17 countries around the globe. There were 200 respondents in Canada (75 in Ontario, 70 in British Columbia, and 55 in Quebec). Worldwide, the survey has a 95 per cent confidence level with a margin of error of 2.6 per cent.

About Symantec

Symantec's Canadian operations are headquartered in Toronto with offices in Montreal, Ottawa, Calgary and Vancouver. For more information on Symantec products or current promotions, access Symantec's Canadian Web site at www.symantec.ca. Symantec is an active member of the Business Software Alliance (BSA).

Symantec is a global leader in providing security, storage and systems management solutions to help consumers and organizations secure and manage their information-driven world. Our software and services protect against more risks at more points, more completely and efficiently, enabling confidence wherever information is used or stored.

NOTE TO EDITORS: If you would like additional information on Symantec Corporation and its products, please visit the Symantec News Room at http://www.symantec.com/news. All prices noted are in U.S. dollars and are valid only in the United States.

Symantec and the Symantec Logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Symantec Corporation or its affiliates in the U.S. and other countries. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

CONTACT:

Jerry Gowen
Symantec Corp.
+1 (503) 690-4714
[email protected]

Hailey Miles
MAVERICK Public Relations
+1 (416) 640-5525 ext. 238
[email protected]

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