Security Market Segment LS
Wednesday, 28 August 2019 03:17

SMBs continue to ‘struggle’ with IT security due to budget, workplace limitations Featured

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SMBs continue to ‘struggle’ with IT security due to budget, workplace limitations Image Stuart Miles, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Small to medium businesses around the world continue to cite budget constraints and a lack of time and personnel to research new security threats, as the main obstacles facing the implementation of their IT security roadmap, according to a new report.

The latest survey and report by network security firm Untangle found that SMBs will continue to be expected to do more with less compared to larger enterprises – 80% of surveyed SMBs ranking IT security as a top business priority and with 29% spending less than $1,000 on IT security annually.

And Untangle says the survey shows that the lack of a dedicated IT security workforce is also apparent with 52% citing that they do not have an in-house IT security professional on staff and therefore distribute the responsibility across other roles.

“Despite several limitations including budgets, time and workforce constraints, SMBs are now, more than ever, reassessing their investments into IT security,” said Timur Kovalev, Chief Technology Officer at Untangle.

“In addition to must-have SMB IT features, such as firewalls and end-to-end network security, cloud-based services and distributed workforces have highlighted the need for SD-WAN solutions to establish secure connections between globally dispersed locations, offering further network-wide control and visibility for threats and attacks.”

Utangle reports that notable factors in SMB IT security are the continued growth of cloud adoption and an increase in the number of branch offices and remote employees outside of a primary headquarters location.

“Managing these branch offices have become top-of-mind as SMB’s are now coming up against the same needs that have led Enterprises to adopt software-defined wide-area networking (SD-WAN) solutions,” Untangle says.

“Sixty one percent of SMBs note that branch office management and maintaining network security are their biggest incentives to deploy SD-WAN solutions for their organisation.”

Additional key findings from the survey include:

  • 56% of SMBs admit that recent security breaches affect their security roadmap moving forward.
  • 48% list budget constraints as the main barrier faced when it comes to IT security, followed by limited time to research and understand new threats (36%) and employees who do not follow IT security guidelines (32%).
  • 40% of small and midsize businesses operate in at least five physical locations, including remote access workers.
  • Most SMBs (74%) now have at least part of their IT infrastructure deployed in the cloud.When it comes to purchasing IT security solutions, small and midsize businesses rank firewall/network security, antivirus/anti-malware, and identity access management as the most important features to their organisation.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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