CEO Roundup—SMBs in denial about cyberthreats; factory workers depart in droves

Fewer than 50% of SMBs are ready for a cyberattack.

SMBs are oblivious to ransomware threat

Fewer than 50% of SMBs worldwide believe they are at risk of experiencing a ransomware attack this year, despite more than 60% having already been affected, according to research results released on Aug. 1 by Webroot, a cybersecurity vendor with headquarters in Broomfield, Colorado. On the plus side, nearly all (98%) of IT decision-makers claimed they will increase their annual IT security budget in 2017, up from 2016.Webroot polled 600 IT decision-makers in the U.S., U.K. and Australia at firms with 100-499 employees to compile its latest report, Cyber Threats to Small and Medium Sized Businesses in 2017. Just two-fifths (42%) claimed ransomware was a major external security threat this year, in spite of major global attacks such as WannaCry and Petya. Higher up on the list were distributed denial of service attacks (43%), phishing (47%), mobile attacks (48%) and “new forms of malware infections” (56%). In the United States, 80% of SMB respondents said they were not ready for an attack (PDF); and 98% described their businesses as “susceptible to external threats of malware and phishing.” The average cost of a breach in which customer records of business data are compromised in the U.S. is $580,000. “The lack of concern about ransomware is leaving a gaping hole in the security of global businesses, as witnessed by the recent outbreaks of WannaCry and not-Petya. This, combined with the UK’s false sense of security when it comes to businesses’ ability to manage external threats, is worrying,” argued Webroot’s EMEA Regional Manager Adam Nash.“Small- to medium-sized businesses can no longer afford to put security on the back burner and need to start engaging with the issues and trends affecting the industry.” (Webroot)

Workers leave factories for better jobs

According to analysts at the St. Louis Fed, the rate at which workers are quitting manufacturing jobs, rather than getting fired, has remained steady, even as the number of factory jobs has fallen nearly 30% since 2000. Axios reported on Aug. 8 that the accelerating rate at which employees are leaving their mass-assembly jobs suggests that they are seeking better pay and working conditions in other sectors. (Axios)