Untangle® Inc., a leader in comprehensive network security for small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) and distributed enterprises, today released the results of its fourth annual SMB IT Security report. The report finds that, despite the flurry of cyberattacks, SMBs are expanding and embracing new work environments, and investing in and investigating new technologies to secure their business.
The latest Untangle SMB IT Security Report surveyed more than 740 SMBs – the largest pool of respondents to-date – to learn more about how they’ve adapted to a changing work environment, how they’ve addressed an influx of cyberattacks and defined their approach to IT Security. The survey shows that even with limited budget and resources, SMBs have implemented foundational strategies to address network security issues and lay the groundwork for future investments: 80% of respondents shared that they are more secure now than last year.
Additional key findings from the survey include:
Surveyed SMBs have increased their annual IT security budgets compared to 2020. More small businesses – those with under 25 employees – are making investments in IT: only 28% had annual budgets of $1,000 - $5,000, compared to 35% in 2021.
50% of SMBs now have the majority of their employees working back in the office. However, in keeping with the current workplace transformation trend, 41% have transitioned a quarter or more of their workers to hybrid work permanently. Because of this, 20% of SMBs have implemented some type of SD-WAN technology with another 19% having plans to implement or are looking into it.
While companies have been investing more in IT security, there continue to be barriers. Employees who do not follow guidelines have become the top barrier to IT security (28%) and despite some budget increases many organizations still struggle with budget constraints (27%) and the lack of manpower to monitor and manage security (18%).
Recognizing the need for digital transformation, 58% of SMBs have deployed more than 10% of their IT infrastructure in the cloud – a 32% increase from 2020.
SMBs realize that they are also targets of cyberattacks and are looking at IT security from a problem/solution standpoint. 64% name breaches as their top security concern, it is understandable that most companies recognize firewalls (73%) and antivirus/anti-malware protection (62%) as their top IT security solutions.
“With a changing workplace landscape, and a continued rise in cyberattacks, SMBs have shifted their mindset from ‘it can’t happen to me’ to taking security threats seriously,” said Scott Devens, CEO at Untangle. “To that end, they have increased their focus on IT Security, they have stronger networks than a year ago and have plans for further attack-prevention for the future. There’s a definite trend towards putting more IT in the cloud and following a multi-layered security approach.”
Untangle protects SMBs and distributed enterprises all over the world from cyberattacks with its Network Security Framework. Composed of NG Firewall and SD-WAN Router, and managed through its cloud-based platform, Command Center, Untangle solutions provide network administrators with exceptional visibility and control over their network, from gateway to the edge.
“By making this data available, we’re giving SMBs the ability to learn from each other, see what other similar businesses are concerned about and see how other SMBs are adapting,” concluded Devens.