Nearly 1,000 executives participated in the survey, which discovered executives at mid-sized manufacturing companies were less likely to be aware of how a cybercrime could negatively impact their business. Executives at larger firms were more aware of this risk, according to the survey, with 44 percent saying they believe their company data faces "some level" of risk.
Only 31 percent of mid-sized manufacturing executives said they thought their data was at risk and 32 percent of respondents from small-sized manufacturing businesses were aware of the dangers of cyber data breaches.
Misconceptions About Small Company Data Breaches
Business executives for smaller companies may not think cyber criminals are interested in their company data, but while this is a commonly held belief, it is not true, the survey said. Smaller companies, too, need proper data breach protection solutions to keep sensitive information safe.
"The perception by a majority of the executives that their data is at little or no risk, however, runs counter to the rising threats to information security. . . . Executives typically do not believe that their organizations have sensitive data," McGladrey wrote in the report. "However, cybercriminals – like most criminals – are financially motivated, and every organization, regardless of size, has critical data: patents, technology, personnel records, corporate credit cards, health benefits, intellectual property and the like. That data can be sold to identity thieves, rogue states or competitors via the Internet quickly and quietly for a fast profit."
Cyber criminals will steal any data they can find, said Corbin Del Carlo, director and regional leader of security and privacy services at McGladrey. A small organization and a large one - their "Internet footprint" looks the same to hackers who look to access anything from personnel information from these manufacturing firms to their intellectual property like engineering drawings, he said.
"Size does not matter; information does," Del Carlo said.
Other Survey Findings
More than 50 percent of all survey respondents said their company's data was at very little risk of being breached and 17.2 percent said the data faced no risks. Additionally, 35 percent of respondents said they do not have an IT risk-management policy place or didn't know if they did.
"Ignorance may very well be bliss – at least until someone breaks into their computer system and steals passwords, customer data and employees' personal information," a Wall Street Journal article on the McGladrey report stated.