|By Business Wire||
|October 16, 2012 06:01 PM EDT||
Though 65 percent of small businesses report that the Internet is critical to their success1, one quarter of women business owners polled2 during National Cyber Security Awareness Month still feel uncertain about their level of protection from cyber risks, according to new data released today by The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE: TRV).
“Considering 40 percent of cyber attacks are against organizations with fewer than 500 employees3, it is imperative that we help small business owners understand cyber risks,” said Marc Schmittlein, President and CEO of Small Commercial at Travelers. “As one of the nation’s largest insurers, we feel an obligation to help entrepreneurs prepare for and prevent cyber and other insurable risks as well as to recommend solutions to this important group of job creators and economic contributors.”
According to data collected at the National Association of Women Business Owners’ (NAWBO) conference, the nation’s largest annual gathering of female business owners, 42 percent are not very confident that they have adequate insurance coverage to protect against other insurable risks, and more than 50 percent don’t have or don’t know if they have a written business continuity plan or disaster recovery document.
“The number of women-owned companies with 100 or more employees has increased at nearly twice the growth rate of all other companies 4,” said Diane Tomb, President and CEO of NAWBO. “With the help of risk experts like Travelers, we are working to arm our members with the tools and resources they need to manage common business risks like cyber security so that as their businesses grow, their exposure to cyber crime does not.”
The questionnaire also gauged the sentiments of women entrepreneurs on the economic outlook. Of those polled, most felt optimistic about the future:
- 91 percent expressed that they are either somewhat or very confident that the business environment will improve over the next year. 52 percent are very confident and 39 percent are somewhat confident.
- 71 percent said they are somewhat or very likely to hire new employees in the next year.
At NAWBO, Travelers served as a primary event sponsor as well as participated in a breakout session to help offer solutions to protect small businesses. During the discussion, Travelers Vice President Lana Crowder encouraged the audience to work with local agents and brokers to identify business continuity and disaster preparedness plans.
Travelers’ sponsorship of NAWBO is part of a broader commitment to advocating for small businesses. The Travelers Institute, the company’s public policy division, also hosted a national series of small business symposia, entitled “Small Business - Big Opportunity,” which convened government, community, business and economic leaders to identify common challenges and related solutions to ensure small business success. Earlier this year, Travelers also sponsored the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s America’s Small Business Summit.
The questionnaire was conducted on-site at the National Association of Women Business Owners annual conference in Louisville, from October 4-6, 2012, and is intended to represent the sentiments of approximately 254 small business owner attendees who participated in an in-person interview over three days.
The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE: TRV) is a leading provider of property casualty insurance for auto, home and business. The company’s diverse business lines offer its global customers a wide range of coverage sold primarily through independent agents and brokers. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Travelers has more than 30,000 employees and operations in the United States and selected international markets. The company generated revenues of approximately $25 billion in 2011. For more information, visit www.travelers.com.
1 According to a study co-sponsored by the National Cyber
Security Alliance (NCSA) and Symantec.
2 Data points to 254 women polled at the NAWBO Annual Conference in Louisville, KY from October 4-6 (see methodology)
3 Symantec 2012 Intelligence Report
4 AMEX Open survey: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20110331006562/en/Women-Enter-Entrepreneurship-Greater-Pace-Growth-Falters