Remote work puts extra stress on SMB security teams

SMB laptop

Smaller businesses are having to do more with less in terms of security, a situation made worse by the coronavirus pandemic.

The annual SMB IT Security Report from Untangle shows that 38 percent of SMBs are allocating $1,000 or less to their IT security budget, compared to 29 percent in 2019 and 27 percent in 2018.

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In addition 78 percent of SMB employees are temporarily working remotely with an anticipated 56 percent of more than 500 businesses surveyed suggesting that some positions will be permanently remote moving forward.

"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," says Scott Devens, CEO at Untangle. "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."

Of those surveyed, 32 percent identify budget as being their greatest barrier to good security, followed by employees who do not follow IT security guidelines (24 percent) and limited time to research and understand emerging threats (13 percent).

When considering which IT security solutions to purchase the most important features are ranked as: SMBs rank firewalls (82 percent), antivirus protection (57 percent), endpoint security (48 percent), archiving management and backup and VPN technologies, (47 percent), and Web filtering (40 percent).

While many 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 SMBs (71 percent) have their firewall on site rather than in the cloud.

The full report is available from the Untangle site.

Photo Credit: one photo/Shutterstock

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