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8/27/2019
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Dark Reading Staff
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Survey: SMBs Continue to Struggle with IT Security

SMBs cite budget constraints, paired with a lack of time and personnel to research new security threats, among the reasons.

SAN JOSE, Calif.– August 27, 2019  – Untangle® Inc., a leader in comprehensive network security for small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) and distributed enterprises, today released the results of its second annual SMB IT Security Report. The report finds that SMBs around the world continue to cite budget constraints, paired with a lack of time and personnel to research new security threats, as the main obstacles facing the implementation of their IT security roadmap.

The latest Untangle survey explores the current state and trends of IT security for more than 300 SMBs, compiling data on budget and resource constraints, breaches, IT infrastructure, cloud adoption and more. While SMBs will continue to face limited budgets and resource constraints compared to larger enterprises, it is no surprise that SMBs continue to do more with less: 80 percent of surveyed SMBs rank IT security as a top business priority, with 29 percent spending less than $1,000 on IT security annually. The lack of a dedicated IT security workforce is also apparent with 52 percent citing they do not have an in-house IT security professional on staff and therefore distribute the responsibility across other roles. 

A notable factor in SMB IT security is growing business footprints due to cloud adoption, increased remote employees and branch offices outside of headquarter locations. Managing these branch offices has become top-of-mind with 20 percent looking into software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) as the answer. 61 percent of SMBs note that secure connectivity for remote branches and ease of network management are their biggest incentives for deployed SD-WAN solutions for their organization. 

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 (72%) have up to 75% of their IT infrastructure deployed in the cloud. 
  • A majority of respondents, 32% described their IT infrastructure deployment as cloud-based (public or private). 
  • 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 organization. 

“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. “While key security features such as firewalls and network security will remain must-haves for SMB security, cloud-based services and distributed workforces have opened up the need for SD-WAN to establish secure connections between employee locations separated by distance, offering network-wide control and visibility for incoming threats or attacks.”

For more information about Untangle, please visit https://www.untangle.com.

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