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Survey Report: More than Half of Small Businesses Globally Struggle with Over-Complicated IT Infrastructures

New research from the Kaspersky Lab 2018 B2B Survey shows that two-thirds (66%) of very small business (VSB - less than 50 employees) and small and medium-sized business (SMB - 50-249 employees) IT staff face challenges around managing a heterogeneous IT infrastructure. Both VSBs and SMBs claim that data security is the number one business challenge they face.

The annual Kaspersky Lab Corporate IT Security Risks survey is a global survey of IT business decision makers, which had 3,041 IT personnel respondents from VSBs and SMBs in 29 countries. The report, "Growing businesses safely: cloud adoption vs. security concerns," provides insight on the global trends and challenges VSBs and SMBs face as they navigate managing IT security with the adoption of cloud tools and services.

IT security management skills gap

The growing complexity of the cloud requires SMBs to take a new approach to infrastructure management, but the report findings indicate a lack of IT staff with the skills to overcome this challenge. According to the findings, 32 percent of VSBs and 14 percent of SMBs trust staff members who are not IT specialists to manage IT security. IT security management should be as important as growing the business and if neglected or not managed by professionals, this could result in a real risk to the companies' sensitive corporate data.

Lack of data control

As businesses grow, they increasingly embrace new tools and cloud services to allow employees to be more efficient and flexible, but these also present security risks if not managed by IT properly. According to the report, 49 percent of VSBs and 64 percent of SMBs have valuable client data stored on staff members' mobile devices. If this data is leaked, it has the potential to result in serious reputational damage to the company, as well as financial losses resulting from litigations. While enterprise-level companies normally have the resources and finances to address this type of incident, the consequences for smaller organizations could mean damaging disruptions in operations or even loss of business.

Who is responsible for data protection of business applications?

Both small companies, and those going through a rapid growth phase see cloud technology as an opportunity to manage business tasks in a more efficient and cost-effective way. The results show half (50%) of VSBs and 40 percent of SMBs have employees who regularly work outside of the office and need access to data and applications via the cloud.

Additionally, as companies expand, they experience a growing need for cloud services: 73 percent of SMBs and 56 percent of VSBs use at least one cloud service. Among the most popular SaaS tools are email, document storage, and collaboration services, finance and accounting. However, small companies do not have a clear understanding of who is responsible for these assets since they are being processed in cloud services and often rely on the provider. For example, nearly two-thirds (64%) of VSB respondents are convinced that the provider is responsible for the security of document exchange applications, while 56 percent of SMB respondents share this opinion.

"To enjoy the advantages of cloud computing regardless of the growth stage they are in, businesses need to effectively manage an array of cloud platforms and services," said Maxim Frolov, vice president of global sales at Kaspersky Lab. "Fundamental to this is being able to clearly recognize who is responsible for cybersecurity in IT infrastructures that are continuing to increase in complexity. Whether it is managed by internal staff or a trusted adviser, cybersecurity cannot be overlooked. All businesses should, therefore, establish a dedicated role within which the security of cloud platforms, sensitive data, and business processes are kept under control."

For more details on the challenges VSBs and SMBs face as they grow and embrace cloud technologies, visit the blog here.

Published Friday, August 03, 2018 7:28 AM by David Marshall
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