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Untangle provides network security solutions to small and medium businesses (SMBs) all over the world. Untangle surveyed more than 350 SMBs globally to learn more about the state of IT security at these organizations. We’ve compiled data on IT trends that include budget and resource constraints, breaches, IT infrastructure, cloud adoption, and the general state of IT.
“This report confirms that SMBs are in dire need of easy-to-deploy, intuitive solutions to protect their networks that don’t require hiring additional personnel or time-intensive commitments from existing staff.”
Chief Executive Officer at Untangle
SMBs are very concerned about security, but face resource constraints ranging from limited budgets to the lack of in-house expertise.
Most SMBs do not have a dedicated IT security professional on staff, increasing the need for simple, effective security solutions.
Attacks on SMBs have continued to escalate, often via ransomware or phishing attempts.
SMBs are looking at alternative ways to deploy their IT infrastructure, including public cloud and SD-WAN solutions.
Almost 80% of respondents rank security as very important to the business. However, most SMBs are not equipped to handle IT security concerns, as more than 50% of businesses distribute IT security responsibilities across other roles, meaning those employees are pulling double duty. On top of that, less than 30% have a dedicated IT security professional on staff. While most SMBs (75%) have fewer than 5 physical locations and even less (60%) have fewer than 100 end-user devices to manage, IT security still remains a constant struggle for businesses with limited resources.
of businesses distribute IT security responsibilities across other roles
have a dedicated IT security professional on staff
Budget constraints (47%) are the biggest challenge SMBs face when it comes to IT security. Limited time to research and understand new threats (37%), and lack of manpower to monitor and manage security (34%), were also impediments. When it comes to budgets, more than 50% of respondents had less than $5,000 per year for IT security, and half of those had less than $1,000 per year.
of respondents have no BYOD policy
of businesses do not allow third parties on the network or have a separate network for third parties to use
Considering Gartner estimates $96.3 billion to be spent on enterprise security solutions in 20181, the small budgets SMBs are given make it nearly impossible to stay ahead of emerging threats. Almost 40% of SMBs have experienced a cyberattack. Malware and phishing are the main culprits, with ransomware close behind.
When asked about Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) policies, a surprising 34% of respondents stated they do not have a BYOD policy. The lack of a BYOD policy could be a contributing factor to the breaches some SMBs experienced. Luckily, more than 80% of businesses either do not allow any third parties on the network or have a separate network for third parties to use. Only allowing known devices on the internal network can be a first step for SMBs to take to gain back control of their network and minimize the risk of threats.
We asked respondents to rank IT security solutions by order of importance when it comes to purchasing. Firewall and network security solutions were ranked the highest, with anti-virus or anti-malware solutions close behind. Endpoint security, identity and access management and web filtering solutions were the next highest ranked.
In terms of IT infrastructure, most SMBs (76%) have 75% or more of their infrastructure deployed on premise, while a majority of organizations (82%) have less than 25% of their IT infrastructure deployed in the cloud. However, SMBs are beginning to look at cloud options when it comes to deploying firewalls. While the majority of respondents have not deployed a firewall in any public cloud service, more than 10% were looking into or have plans to implement in the future.
of SMBs have 75% or more of their infrastructure deployed on premise
of SMBs have less than 25% of their IT infrastructure deployed in the cloud
Of those that have deployed a firewall in the cloud, over 30% have already, plan to or are looking into implementing SD-WAN solutions. Reducing risk and managing branch offices are the main reasons SMBs have deployed SD-WAN solutions. SD-WAN and Firewall-as-a-Service (FWaas) are becoming more popular among SMBs as these solutions provide better bandwidth, simplify security and can save organizations equipment and overhead costs.
SMBs will always have to face limited budgets and resources allocated to IT security. However, as hackers become more sophisticated, it is crucial organizations take a proactive approach instead of waiting to see if they become a victim. Simple steps like separating the internal network from the public or mobile devices, and educating employees on what phishing attacks look like, can be vital for SMBs.
“Trusted by over 40,000 customers worldwide for its effectiveness and ease-of-use, NG Firewall is the solution of choice for organizations facing not only the challenges of network security, but also limited budgets, resources and in-house IT expertise.”
Founder & Chief Product Officer
Untangle is an innovator in cybersecurity for the below-enterprise market, safeguarding people’s digital lives at home, work and on-the-go. Untangle’s integrated suite of software and appliances provides enterprise-grade capabilities and consumer-oriented simplicity, bringing a new generation of smart security to homes and small-to-mid-sized businesses. Untangle’s award-winning network security solutions are trusted by over 400,000 customers, protecting nearly 5 million people, their computers and networks around the world.
Untangle provides simple and affordable network security specifically for SMB. Our flagship product, NG Firewall, provides unified threat management capabilities integrated with robust policy management tools that enable IT administrators to monitor, manage and control their networks while also providing protection from evolving threats.
Untangle’s cloud-based, cyber threat intelligence platform, ScoutIQ™, provides protection against unknown and emerging malware threats and zero day exploits. The platform works in a trifold manner, by proactively scanning all networks—including encrypted traffic—for various threats and malware, providing continuous threat protection by aggregating data from NG Firewall deployments worldwide, and synthesizing data from industry-wide threat intelligence services.
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