Viruses are the top security concern for an average of 63% of small and mid-size businesses a survey of over 1,500 employees in the US and Europe, has revealed.
Other top concerns are malware designed to steal data (59%), data leaks (56%), spyware (55%), and fake anti-virus software (52%), according to the survey by security firm Trend Micro.
Data loss, either through internal data leaks or malware, is a serious issue for small businesses, said David Perry, global director of education at Trend Micro.
"It would not be surprising to see data-stealing malware and data leaks moving up to number one and two on this list in the next few years," he said.
But, despite the concerns, the survey found that small organisations are 23% less likely than large companies to have preventative data leak policies in place.
For those businesses that have preventative data leak policies in place, employees in large companies are also significantly more likely to have received training on data leak prevention than those in small companies
Employees in large are also more aware of confidential business information than those in small companies, the survey found.
In the UK, 73% of employees from large companies say they are aware of confidential information compared with 63% from small companies.
The survey found that the most prevalent forms of IT protection against data stealing malware is installing security software, restricting Internet access and implementing security policies.
But 21% of small business employees said their IT departments could still do a better job of protecting them on potential risks associated with data-stealing malware.
More than one third of employees in small companies also said they felt the IT department could have done a better job educating them about data stealing malware.