Less than 40 per cent of small businesses have mobile device security, according to recent research commissioned by security vendor, Trend Micro.
While the message of antivirus and anti-spam has been getting through to small business owners, Advanced Persistent Threats and mobile device protection have yet to be widely embraced or understood.
As the use of mobile devices continues to rise in the workplace, 57 per cent of Australian small businesses identified the ability to protect mobile devices as extremely important or important. However, only 38 percent of Australian small businesses have deployed mobile device management as a security technology to date. Among the respondents that have not, 37 percent plan to deploy the technology in the next year.
The research indicated 82 percent of respondents were aware of antivirus security technology and 75 percent had heard of anti-spam and email security technology, only 22 percent of Australian small businesses had heard of Advanced Persistent Threat security technology.
Stellar Systems managing director, Steve Surleff, said security was slipping down the small business priority list.
Stellar Systems is IT solutions and consulting services company based in Western Australia.
“Small businesses are no longer seeing security as a priority as they have a growing list of other priorities they have to manage,” Surleff said.
“While this is happening, there is also a new breed of security challenges facing them such as data leakage, which most small organisations aren’t addressing appropriately, and viruses such as Cryptolocker, which can infiltrate small business networks despite having antivirus software in place.”
Respondents indicated some of the most important security technology factors included high performance (73 per cent), reliability with 24x7 availability and no downtime (71 per cent); product effectiveness (71 per cent); real-time security (70 per cent) and low or no maintenance required by onsite IT staff (68 per cent).
“As the workforce becomes more mobile and social media and cloud service adoption increases, the small business IT environment is becoming much more complex. Small businesses are increasingly being targeted as their networks aren’t always well protected and as a result, tend to be easier for cybercriminals to get into,” Trend Micro A/NZ director of small-medium sized business, Mark Sinclair, said.
The research also highlighted that small business owners have the most influence in the selection of IT security products and services (78 per cent), followed by in-house IT personnel, VARs and external IT consultants.