Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) typically face the same threats as bigger organisations, but lack the same level of expertise and other security resources, say experts.
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This often leaves SMEs more exposed to cyber threat, particularly through unprotected email and web applications, according to Martin Lee, intelligence analyst at IT services firm Symantec.
Symantec's statistics show that big organisations are better at implementing more secure web applications, but SMEs tend to do more business by email, with a 4.4 times greater email volume.
"In the event of an attack, SMEs are also more likely to suffer greater damage," he told delegates at Infosec Europe 2012 taking place in London.
But, with the advent of cloud-based data management services, SMEs are able to tap into and benefit from the security expertise they need, said Lee, without having to bear the whole cost.
SMEs unwilling to make the transition to cloud-based services should realise that if they keep their data management in-house without the necessary expertise, they are "sitting ducks", he said.
A cloud-based service enables SMEs to consolidate all their critical data, which is at the heart of any business, and surround it with security controls managed by an expert team, said Lee.
SME's should balance the risks of looking after their own data with the risks of moving to the cloud, and minimise those risks by ensuring the chosen service includes good reporting and accountability.