By Claire West

Research released today by Internet Security company AVG shows that although most small businesses understand the need to protect their IT systems, fewer are willing to put it into practice. Out of 2000 SMBs surveyed in the US and UK for the "SMB Landscape Report", more than half
(52%) have no IT security guidelines for their staff, while 1 in 7 have no Internet security software or solutions in place at all.

On the back of its report, AVG has launched a web based business resource center (www.avgatwork.com) that provides small and medium sized business owners and IT managers with informative guides, blog posts, videos, demos and tools to help them protect their business from internet and network security threats. The research for the SMB Landscape Report was undertaken by GFK NOP, which polled American and UK small business (less than 100
employees) owners.

AVG's research shows that:

* 83% agree that having the right level of IT security protection is critical to their business

* 77% say that a security threat could have a significant negative impact on their business

* 55% feel they can make IT security decisions without 3rd party influence

* However, only 48% have a clear IT security policy in place for their staff, leaving most at the mercy of what employees decide to download or access online

* As a result, perhaps not surprisingly, 1 in 4 have experienced a security breach

* Most worryingly, 1 in 7 have no security software or systems in place at all

AVG also asked small businesses whether they expect to see growth in the next five years - 61% of UK and 74% of US small businesses say that they do.

As a result, Robert Gorby, AVG's global head of SMB propositions says that it is even more important for small businesses to put the right security measures in place, or else risk losing out to competitors when things go

“As our research shows, small businesses have a fundamental understanding that Internet security threats can be a hazard to their businesses, but they obviously lack the time or the resources to adequately protect their businesses from cyber criminals who may try to steal valuable company information. AVG’s Business Resource Center is designed to educate small and medium sized business owners about online threats to their businesses and provide them with a myriad of resources to help protect themselves from these threats.”

Designed in response to the SMB Landscape Report, AVG's Business Resource Center features downloadable Small Business Security Guides, which aim to provide you with a blueprint for effective secure business.

For more information on the AVG Business Resource Center and the SMB Landcape Report please see our blog post at:http://small-business.blog.avg.com/2010/11/business-resource-centre-opens-with-smb-market-landscape-report.html