For organizations of all sizes across the globe, 2020 and 2021 were undoubtedly unprecedented years in many ways. Companies were forced to adopt remote workforce, digitalizing all operations. Notably, the rise of cybercriminal activities leveraging the pandemic made organizations consider cybersecurity a top priority. Several organizations, regardless of size and industry, have increased their cybersecurity budgets to defend against new security threats.
Despite being a primary target to cyberattacks, small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) have embraced new work environments and invested in new security technologies to prevent hacker attacks, a report from Untangle revealed.
Untangle provides comprehensive network security for SMBs and distributed enterprises. In its annual SMB IT Security Report, the company stated that SMBs implemented foundational strategies to address network security issues even with limited budgets and resources. Around 80% of respondents shared that they are more secure now than last year.
- 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, 41% have permanently transitioned a quarter or more of their workers to hybrid work, keeping with the current workplace transformation trend. Because of this, 20% of SMBs have implemented some 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%). Despite some budget increases, many organizations still struggle with budget constraints (27%) and the lack of workforce 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 look 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 top IT security solutions.
The findings are based on the responses of more than 740 SMBs surveyed.
“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. To that end, they have increased their focus on IT Security, they have stronger networks than a year ago, and they have plans for further attack prevention in the future. There’s a definite trend towards putting more IT in the cloud and following a multi-layered security approach. 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,” said Scott Devens, CEO at Untangle.