SMBs spend more on coffee than IT
COMPUTING| July 23, 2012, 1:45 p.m.
Many small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) spend a greater amount of money on coffee and tea for their employees than they do to invest in their company’s IT. This rather surprising finding was made by worldwide market research organisation GfK during a recent study of SMBs. The aim of the survey, which was commissioned by global security software manufacturer AVG, was to explore the IT security software market landscape of SMBs.
In a world where IT is the enabler of business, this can lead to many problems for these SMBs – not least of which are the security risks they are faced with.
“The majority of SMBs are still focused on the more traditional threats to IT security, such as e-mail and web viruses, and while others are finally becoming aware of other ways in which their company’s security can be compromised, including theft of information and social engineering, not enough focus is being placed on these areas,” says Bruce Goodwill, AVG’s Sales Director for EMEA, Latin America and Australia. Only a little over half of the participating SMBs considered information security to be a major issue.
This laid back attitude many SMBs have towards IT security extends to mobile devices as well. In order to compete with larger corporations, SMBs are increasingly embracing mobile technology and providing their employees with tablets and smartphones so that they can access company information while on the go. However, few are aware of the potential security pitfalls that accompany this technology, with almost three quarters of the SMBs surveyed not agreeing that the use of mobile phones in business may represent a real threat to IT security.
“Statistics show that companies cannot afford to be so lax and ignorant about IT security and the longer term implications that it can have on their operations. The cost of IT security breaches reaches far beyond losing access to files containing customer or company information, or the money they will have to spend on replacing hardware.
During 2011, one-in-six SMBs – which translates to more than one million companies – in the US and UK experienced an IT security breach as a result of failing or insufficient IT security. As a result, 30 million man-hours of labour were lost while rectifying the results of the security breaches. Companies lost out on USD14.87 million in sales/revenue opportunities due to IT security breaches, and spent USD7.52 million to replace damaged hardware and corrupted computers,” says Goodwill.
He adds that businesses of all sizes should treat their company’s online security with the same level of importance as they do corporate governance and brand protection. On the technological front, Goodwill offers the following advice: “Start with the basics. Have strong password management, data encryption on company computers and make sure that you have up-to-date anti-malware software installed.”
Apart from the obvious benefits you’ll reap from having adequate IT security for your business, such as protecting your company’s valuable data from being stolen or exploited by cyber criminals and potentially saving you time and money, it will also provide you with peace of mind and leave you with more time to focus your attention on your company’s bottom line, Goodwill says. “That way, your employees will always have a well stocked kitchen at work.”
MORE COMPUTING NEWS
Botswana women missing from ICTThere has been a rallying call for women in Botswana to consider a lifetime participation in the Information and Communication Technology if the sector is to realise any meaningful growth as well as a fair gender representation. Read More
Globecomm, Tanzania Support Foundation take computers to rural schoolGlobecomm announced today that it has donated desktop computers to a school in the Tanzanian village of Selela to aid the mission of the Tanzanian Support Foundation to help small communities become more self-sufficient in education, healthcare, hygiene and clean water. Read More
The Network is dead. Long live the network!Your network is vastly bigger than the Internet itself, says Infoblox. Read More
Schneider Electric’s off-grid solar and backup power inverter/charger now in southern AfricaSchneider Electric Solar Business, a global leader in solutions for the solar power conversion chain, has released its off-grid solar and backup power inverter/charger, the Conext SW, in the southern African region. Read More
Phase3 seeks digitally enhanced life for special needs kidsWest Africa’s largest independent fibre optic infrastructure and telecommunications services provider, Phase3 Telecom, has urged stakeholders in the ICT industry to offer children living with disabilities a good quality of life through the deployment of assistive technology. Read More
Kenya, China partner to grow ICT skillsGlobal technology company Huawei, in partnership with Kenya’s Ministry of Information and Technology, has dispatched to China the first beneficiaries of the “Huawei Seeds for the Future” Internship programme. Read More
Big trends for 2015Industry experts share their thoughts on the innovations that will impact business next year. Read More
ASUS appoints Andre Goosen as Country Service ManagerASUS, the Taiwanese technology innovation brand, has appointed Andre Goosen to the position of Country Service Manager, a new role created in line with ASUS’ increased focus on after sales service. Read More
iWayAfrica managed service solution launched in KenyaPan African telecoms operator, Gondwana International Networks (GIN) has announced that its iWayAfrica business has launched a managed infrastructure and services solution in Kenya. Read More
Kenya Ports Authority first to deploy Pamoja’s RUBiQ cloud platformThe Kenya Ports Authority is the first institution in East Africa to adopt the RUBiQ Cloud-based governance, risk and compliance platform. Read More
FEATURED STORYPWC: Optimism abounds but a bumpy journey ahead for some
PwC’s ‘Capital Projects & infrastructure in East Africa, Southern Africa and West Africa,’ report says infrastructure spend in the region is projected to reach $180bn per annum by 2025.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHAfrica lags on digital migration
Only three African countries have so far completed the digital migration process, and serious issues are hampering the migration in other nations.