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One-in-Four Businesses Do Not Use Data Security Software to Defend Against Cyber Threats

October 24, 2019

According to the Paychex study, despite the growing risk of cyberattacks, 27 percent of business owners are not currently leveraging any type of data security software.

Today, in recognition of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, Paychex, Inc., a leading provider of HR technology solutions for human resources, payroll, benefits, and insurance services, is sharing new insights from a survey of 500 business owners with one to 500 employees about the impact of data security on their organizations.

According to the Paychex study, despite the growing risk of cyberattacks, 27 percent of business owners are not currently leveraging any type of data security software. Of the remaining 73 percent that deploy data security software, they are leveraging the following solutions to secure their business data:

  • 48 percent use on-premise software
  • 11 percent use cloud-based software
  • 14 percent use both of the above

Despite the significant percentage of businesses not utilizing security software, 81 percent of respondents feel confident their company and customer data is as secure as possible. Similarly, when asked if their business would be able to recover from a data breach or cyberattack, 84 percent of business owners said they could, while 16 percent are less confident in their ability to bounce back from such an attack.

The Paychex survey also asked business owners to respond to statements about their data security policies:

  • 81 percent say their employees recognize the importance of data security.
  • 72 percent say they regularly review their data security approach to ensure they are following best practices.
  • 70 percent say their company has a clear data security policy.
  • 60 percent say their company trains all employees on data security.

“While it’s reassuring to see the majority of business owners are taking the appropriate steps – from employee training to software investments – to defend against the threat of a cyberattack or data breach, it’s not a once and done commitment,“ said Bradley Schaufenbuel, Paychex chief information security officer. “As the risks of these incidents increase, employers must consistently reevaluate and adapt their security policies and controls to ensure they are as protected as much as possible against the latest types of threats.”

When broken down by business size, larger companies are more likely to train employees on data security measures: 89 percent of companies with 100-500 employees, compared to 59 percent of those with 1-19 employees.

Teresa Hunter, executive director and CEO of Family Housing Advisory Services in Omaha, Nebraska, recognizes the benefits of employee training in driving cybersecurity awareness. “Our employees receive regular ‘KnowBe4’ training and test-emails to educate and prevent employees from engaging in problematic behaviors,” said Hunter.    

In August, Paychex debuted cyber liability protection to help businesses prepare for the unforeseen costs associated with data breaches, hackers, ransomware, online banking fraud, and more. In addition to providing assistance with costs involved in the response and recovery after an attack, Paychex’s cyber liability protection gives businesses access to 24/7 crisis management and a top cybersecurity law firm. To learn more about protecting your business with cyber liability insurance through Paychex, visit  

About the Paychex Business Survey
Paychex polled 500 randomly selected business owners with fewer than 500 employees. The survey was administered online by Bredin, a third-party research firm, between August 1, 2019 and August 13, 2019 and yielded a +/- 4% margin of error.

Disclaimer: The data cited in this news release represents the opinions of the survey respondents and not those of Paychex or its employees.

About Paychex
Paychex, Inc. (NASDAQ: PAYX) is a leading provider of integrated human capital management solutions for payroll, benefits, human resources, and insurance services. By combining its innovative software-as-a-service technology and mobility platform with dedicated, personal service, Paychex empowers small- and medium-sized business owners to focus on the growth and management of their business. Backed by more than 45 years of industry expertise, Paychex serves over 670,000 payroll clients as of May 31, 2019, across more than 100 locations in the U.S. and Europe, and pays one out of every 12 American private sector employees. Learn more about Paychex by visiting, and stay connected on Twitter and LinkedIn.