Small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are procuring security tools to prevent cyberattacks with limited cybersecurity budgets and resources. According to the “SMB IT Security Report” from Untangle, a provider of comprehensive network security for SMBs and distributed enterprises, SMBs are continuing to do more with less, with 38% of SMBs allocating $1,000 or less to their IT security budget, in comparison to 29% in 2019 and 27% in 2018. The report also revealed that 78% of SMB employees are working remotely, with an estimated 56% suggesting some positions will be permanently remote going forward.
“SMBs are proactively putting tools in place to combat attacks and limit their vulnerabilities even though they continue grappling with limited security budgets and resource constraints. However, dealing with these challenges during a work-from-home shift has created gaping vulnerabilities within an organization’s networks and adds another challenge to an already overburdened IT department,” the report stated.
- Nearly 32% of SMBs identify budget as their greatest barrier, followed by employees who do not follow IT security guidelines (24%) and limited time to research and understand emerging threats (13%)
- SMBs rank firewalls (82%), antivirus protection (57%), endpoint security (48%), archiving management and backup and VPN technologies, (47%), and Web filtering (40%) as the most important features when considering which IT security solutions to purchase
- While SMBs have adopted a hybrid on-premises/cloud-based IT infrastructure for business applications, with a small percentage increase of cloud deployments compared to last year, most SMB’s (71%) have their firewall on site rather than in the cloud
- Around 45% indicated that they have adjusted or reevaluated their IT security roadmap based on recent security breaches and ransomware attacks
- Of those SMBs surveyed and who experienced a data breach within the last 12 months, 15% were able to stop the attack or any unauthorized access before sensitive data was extracted.
Scott Devens, CEO at Untangle, said, “As the abnormal becomes our new normal, SMBs need to approach remote work by using a combination of cloud-based applications and on-premises solutions to keep employees and systems safe, and ensure business continuity. SMBs should be looking for technologies that incorporate multi-layered network security tools and a hybrid network infrastructure, such as SD-WAN, to avoid large-scale network vulnerabilities, regardless of budget and resource size.”
1 in 3 SMBs Rely on Free Cybersecurity Tools
A similar research from BullGuard revealed that one in three small businesses with 50 or fewer employees rely on free or consumer-grade cybersecurity tools. The research also pointed out that one in five companies do not use any endpoint security whatsoever. The research, which surveyed small businesses in the U.K. and the U.S., suggested that nearly 43% SMB owners are not prepared for a potential cyberattack or breach leaving their most sensitive financial, customer, and business data at risk.