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Security Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated for SMBs

27 Mar 2015 by Shay Moser

This article is sponsored by Sophos, one of our partners, and they provide Insight with content to share with our audience. Many vendors assume small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs or SMEs) have the expertise and full-time staff of a large enterprise to manage IT security. However, this one-size-fits-all approach results in higher costs, lower productivity and more risk for SMBs. Enterprise­class security products are inherently complex, and SMBs’ needs are very different. Making simple products that small businesses can use is costly, which is why most vendors merely repackage their enterprise offering for the SMB market.

Small businesses are an easy target for cybercriminals.

Even if vendors seem to ignore the needs of small businesses, SMBs present a huge opportunity for cybercriminals. Out of the nearly 6 million employers in the United States, the vast majority of them have fewer than 100 employees. According to the 2013 Verizon Data Breach Report, 40% of 621 data theft incidents confirmed in 2012 affected organizations with fewer than 1,000 employees. Recent studies point to less rigorous security at smaller firms. In a Sophos-sponsored Ponemon Institute survey of IT managers at small to mid-sized companies, the average self-assessment score of security posture (ability to mitigate risks, vulnerabilities and attacks) was a 6 on a scale of 10. Respondents reported, on average, fewer than three full-time workers fully dedicated to IT security. And respondents reported a wide range of challenges including insufficient budgets, personnel and in-house expertise. Small organizations that deploy enterprise-grade security products without the specialists necessary to manage them are exposed to a wide range of risks and costs. For instance, an IT generalist may struggle to manually configure a host intrusion prevention system (HIPS) with hundreds of rules, deciding instead to turn off most of the product’s functionality. In fact, only 10% of businesses use all the security features and functions they pay for.

The Cloud simplifies security.

Today’s Cloud-based IT security solutions are perfect for SMBs because they’re easy to install, configure and manage, and should provide automatic, real-time protection from most threats. Other simple features SMBs should look for in a Cloud-based security product includes:

  1. Unified security management
  2. User-centric management, reporting and licensing
  3. Pre-configured settings
  4. Built-in web security filtering
  5. Coordinated web content filtering policy
  6. Quick deployment and maintenance-free, with no server to set up

If you’d like to find out how the Cloud can simplify your SMB’s security, call 800-INSIGHT.