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Shrinkage! SMB Security Budget Cuts Could Cost More Than They Save

The combination of a lousy economy and increasingly an increasingly sophisticated threat environment has resulted in SMB security spending that's flat or shrinking. Just what the crooks are counting on!
The combination of a lousy economy and increasingly an increasingly sophisticated threat environment has resulted in SMB security spending that's flat or shrinking. Just what the crooks are counting on!SMB security spending tended to be flat or reduced last year, according to a new report from McAfee. (registration required for free report download)

The budget cuts are most easily viewed in the gloomy light of larger economic challenges, but the even gloomier light of a hostile-to-toxic threat environment that's not getting any better, along with increased targeting of SMBs by cycbercrooks renders the savings moot at best.

Save a little on security budgets, lose a lot -- and maybe everything -- when your vulnerabilities get exploited.

Indeed, McAfee found that 71% of IT executives at the businesses they surveyed doubted their companies could survive a serious breach.

While -- no surprise -- outsourced security-as-a-service (SaaS) is touted as a balm, if not an outright cure for tight budgets and complex threats, SaaS, no matter how good, doesn't address the fundamental lack of ongoing security awareness and focus that far too many SMBs still display. McAfee, for instance, found that 65% of the companies they surveyed spent fewer than four proactive hours a week on security matters.

No one expects non-IT companies to become security experts, or to hire lots of internal experts, particularly in tough times. But even companies wholly embracing SaaS should also embrace -- or at least accept -- the idea that somebody on-staff still needs to be security-focused, proactively and for more than four hours a week.

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Steve Zurier, Contributing Writer
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