SMBs vulnerable as ever

SMBs remain highly vulnerable to cyber-threats, according to management software company Computer Associates (CA), resulting in what the firm describes as “unacceptable exposure to significant business risk”.

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By  Matthew Wade Published  August 1, 2005

SMBs remain highly vulnerable to cyber-threats, according to management software company Computer Associates (CA), resulting in what the firm describes as “unacceptable exposure to significant business risk”. Computer Associates (CA) commissioned an international survey by Quocirca Ltd, which in turn surveyed 440 senior managers from companies in the US and Europe. This research discovered that many SMBs have limited resources, expertise and awareness to deploy the appropriate security measures to protect their IT environments from malicious cyber-threats. In terms of this region however, cyber threats such as viruses, Trojans and phishing are seen as even more of a worry for small and medium sized businesses. “CA sees the threats to SMBs in the Arab countries as much higher than the survey indicates, due to even more limited resources and IT security spending,” said Abdul Karim Riyaz, business technologist at CA in the Arab countries. “Based on CA’s own internal research for this region, we estimate that there are just under five million SMBs who, according to IDC, account for 37% of all IT spending. Unfortunately, security tends to take a back seat when it comes to prioritising IT spending by most regional SMBs.” Quocirca’s study found that SMBs have relatively limited resources with which to manage their IT environments. These environments are surprisingly complex and therefore despite their relatively small size, SMBs often manage to accumulate a wide range of hardware and software resources. CA’s survey also identified that data protection processes are often managed manually and therefore frequently neglected. Additionally, SMBs are slow to react to emerging threats, with 25% confessing that they had not checked the security of their internet connection in the last year. Finally, the report adds that poor patch management leaves many SMBs open to known security vulnerabilities. “While SMBs continue to embrace technology, a disturbing number lack the resources necessary to protect their IT assets in a sufficiently organised manner,” said Bob Tarzey, service director at Quocirca Ltd. “SMBs need to make sure they have a comprehensive security and back-up strategy in place for their increasingly business-critical computing infrastructure.” “Quocirca’s studies demonstrate that SMBs need to better automate their security, back-up and PC upgrade processes,” added Riyaz. “CA has responded to this urgent market need with total protection solutions that allow SMBs to implement important risk-mitigating best practices despite their lack of in-house IT security manpower.” To access the Quocirca survey and CA’s related white paper called ‘The Threats You Face: Why Total Protection Matters’, visit http://ca.com/smb/bestpractices.

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