sb-au logo
Story image

SMEs need to up their security game or risk becoming a target

SMEs are trailing far behind their larger counterparts when it comes to securing their data, according to new research from Versasec.

Joakim Thorén, Versasec CEO, says some reasons for the disparity in security readiness may be that SMEs have not as often been the targets of hackers, privately held companies don’t face the same pressures for security as do their public-company counterparts, and that they simply may have pushed off the issue.

However, as larger companies become increasingly sophisticated around security, hackers are re-aiming their sites at smaller companies, and many are simply not prepared, he says. For instance, of those surveyed, nearly 40% admitted they would like to better understand smart card management tools to help them meet their company’s security needs.

Other key findings of the study, which polled information technologists in a broad range of industries, included the following:

Mobility is daunting: Respondents from companies of all sizes cited mobility as the technology that poses the greatest security concern for them (43%). Other concerns include cloud usage (32%) and external devices/BYOD implementations (22%). The crux here, however, is that although SMEs are mature enough to recognise these security challenges, they may not be ready yet to invest in addressing them, as is evidenced by the next data point, Versasec says.

Network security is a key focus: Survey respondents said network security, at 74%, was where they are focusing their security efforts this year. Other key areas for investments in security include physical security (43%), two-factor identification (41%), and cyber security (37%).

Heavy reliance on simple security: The vast majority of respondents (86%) say username and password are a primary method for authenticating access to their company’s data, despite the very public breaches faced by many companies over the last few years. Physical smart cards are in use at slightly more than half the companies (54%). Other methods the companies said they use include public key infrastructure (43%) and one-time password (31%). Biometrics and virtual smart cards are distant followers, at just 16% and 12%, respectively.

Budgets are not security focused: Slightly more than 40% of those surveyed said their companies have committed just 0% to 10% their IT budget on security for 2016. Approximately 36% said security spending this year would consume between 10% and 25% of their budget. An additional 12% said they would spend between 25% and 50% of their budget on security.

“It will be interesting to look at these numbers in a year’s time and see whether the SMEs are stepping up their security spend, and why. For now, we are encouraged to see the interest in using smart cards as it’s the easiest and most cost effective way for securing a company’s IT domain today,” Thorén says.

Link image
Proper authentication is the key to security. Now it's free
Usually if a cyber attacker gains access to your credentials, it's game over. Stand a fighting chance at no cost with this cutting edge authentication tool.More
Story image
Australians uneasy about facial recognition tech - report
Half of Australians believe their privacy is being invaded by the tech, and two-thirds think they should be able to opt out of databases using it.More
Story image
Cost-effective security key demand for MSPs
A new survey conducted by Omida and commissioned by Acronis shows that there is an “overwhelming” demand for security services among MSPs.More
Story image
Demand for VPNs soars in Hong Kong amid fears over Beijing crackdown
VPN provider Surfshark revealed it has seen a week’s worth of sales in just one hour within the city, indicating that locals feel their internet freedom is under attack.More
Link image
OSS Group helps businesses use IT Automation to unify people & processes
if it exists in IT there is usually a way to automate it. Whether you're a director or systems engineer, those that understand automation can achieve a more streamlined and secure business.More
Story image
Endace and Palo Alto Networks launch integration to empower security teams
“The combination of Cortex XSOAR’s powerful orchestration and automation capabilities with the rich network history recorded by the EndaceProbe Analytics Platform gives security operations access to the conclusive forensic evidence they need to respond quickly and accurately to threats.” More