Untangle, Inc., a San Jose-based company specializing in network security for small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) and distributed enterprises, has released survey data suggesting that, despite the flurry of cyberattacks, SMBs are expanding and embracing new work environments, and investing in and investigating new technologies to enhance 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.
According to the survey, 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.
Half 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.
SMBs realize that they, too, are targets of cyberattacks and are looking at IT security from a problem/solution standpoint. More than 60% identify breaches as their top security concern.
“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 Untangle CEO Scott Devens. “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.”
The research initiative surveyed more than 740 SMBs on how they’ve adapted to a changing work environment, how they’ve addressed an influx of cyberattacks and defined their approach to IT Security.
These survey results are good news for channel partners who often find SMBs to be reluctant to invest in IT security. Historically, many customers in this market segment have viewed themselves as too small to be viable targets for cybercriminals.