Britain’s SMBs Are Security Cheapskates

Britain’s small businesses are woefully under-spending when it comes to ensuring their company remains secure, a new study has found.

A survey from security firm Avast, exclusively carried out for TechWeekEurope, discovered more than half (57 percent) of UK SMBs are spending less than two percent of their total IT budget on security.

And it seems that many firms are pinching the pennies when it comes to their existing security provisions, with a similar proportion (55 percent) admitting to formerly using a free consumer product to protect their business.

Cut-price

This is despite 30 percent of respondents saying that losing valuable and confidential data was the greatest security risk, ahead of losing customers (16 percent) or having their reputation damaged (16 percent).

Overall, only around 30 percent of SMBs admitted to having a premium security solution, whether business or consumer-focused, in place before they switched to their current product. Worryingly, nearly three percent of those surveyed admitted to having no security provisions in place before this year.

Only 10 percent said they currently spent more than 10 percent of their IT budget on security provisions, despite nearly three quarters of respondents saying that 100 percent of their business use the Internet for work.

“Many SMBs leverage free consumer products, either because they have lean IT budgets or limited IT resources,” said Luke Walling, Avast’s general manager and vice president of SMB.

“However, consumer products fail to allow business owners and IT managers to monitor and manage security within their environment.”

All respondents are UK users of the free to download Avast for Business, which launched in February following the security firm’s success in the consumer market. Its latest offering aims to protect SMBs from viruses and cyber attacks with cloud-based protection and a worldwide threat monitoring system.

“Avast for Business solves both budget and security challenges for SMBs by offering a free and easy-to-use, business-grade solution,” added Walling. “Our positive customer feedback proves that Avast for Business has filled a void in the SMB security market.”

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Mike Moore

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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