Many small business owners believe online security is an unnecessary investment, according to a recent survey commissioned by the National Cyber Security Alliance and Visa.

According to the survey, 85 percent of small business owners believe their businesses are less of a target than large companies.

This belief leads many business owners to assume security measures are an unnecessary investment. The survey found 50 percent of small business owners believe the high cost of online security measures are not justified by the low level of threat.

These attitudes are reflected in practice, according to the survey. Almost half of the respondents indicated their employees had not received any network and mobile device security training in the last year.

Michael Kaiser, executive director of the NCSA, said complacency is the greatest threat to company security. "We encourage small business owners to take the necessary precautions to protect their customers, employees and their business," he said.

The survey, which polled 1,000 small business owners, was conducted by Zogby-463.

The survey results come as the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council recently announced an update to its Data Security Standard. The update, which takes effect on January 1, 2011, outlines required data security standards for organizations processing payments by credit and debit card.