Why Do Small Businesses Lack Confidence In Network Security?

New research shows that more than half of IT administrators at small businesses would not bet their own money that all of the computers their business owns and employees use are free of malware (51%) or that all are operating at peak efficiency and will not fail (59%).

The survey results also reveal that 51% of IT professionals spend at least 10 hours per month manually updating antivirus software on or removing malware from users’ PCs.

The independent blind survey, which polled 200 IT decision makers in organisations ranging from five to 50 employees, was conducted by Opinion Matters. The survey identified common AV practices among small businesses and gauged respondents’ confidence levels in machine security and performance, as well as their opinions on cloud-based IT solutions.

Key highlights from the survey include:

  • 27% of IT admins say they are not running the same antivirus solution with the same license renewal date on all company PCs
  • One third (33%) do not have a centrally managed antivirus solution
  • Nearly half (48%) of IT admins report that they do not have the capability to see which PCs or servers on their network are about to fail. This number increases to 55% or more in organisations with fewer than 25 employees
  • 78% of respondents say they would be interested in a Web-based service that enables them to manage antivirus protection on company PCs
  • Nearly one third (28%) of respondents report that none of their IT applications are delivered via the cloud yet. An additional 28% say less than 25% of their total applications are cloud-based
  • According to respondents, top concerns about moving to cloud applications include: complexity and lack of in-house skills to implement (31%), third-party control over company solutions (28%), expense to implement (24%) and cloud security (24%).

What admins would do with more time

According to survey respondents, if they no longer had to spend time manually managing antivirus software and identifying and repairing server and workstation failures, the most important IT tasks they would pursue include backing up data, files and systems; cleaning up database files, disks and servers; upgrading programs, software and hardware; developing, designing and maintaining company websites; and converting to cloud-based services.

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Walter Scott is CEO at GFI Software. Walter most recently served as the CEO of Acronis, a provider of scalable storage management and disaster recovery software, where in the space of three years he increased revenues from less than $20 million to approximately $120 million for 2008. Prior to joining Acronis, he was CEO of Imceda Software where he executed a combination of leadership and marketing strategies that resulted in a successful sale of the company to Quest Software for $61 million. Walter was also instrumental in Embacadero's successful IPO in 2000. He started his career in sales with Banyan Systems where he contributed to the growth and success that lead to Banyan's IPO. Walter holds a Bachelor's degree in Marketing and a Masters Degree in Business Administration from the University of Maine.