SMBs spend more on coffee than IT

COMPUTING

|
Image: By BiztechAfrica
SMBs spend more on coffee than IT

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.”



Share the News

Get Daily Newsletter

comments powered by Disqus

MORE COMPUTING NEWS

Managed services born again in Africa

Thanks to the ever-evolving nature of technology and the rapid growth of cloud services in Africa, managed services has in effect been born again, says Gondwana International Networks (GIN) and iWayAfrica. Read More

CWG, Vodacom canvass local content in ICT

Olusola Teniola, Austin Okere and Mrs Newton-Denila Smarting from the success the Local Content Act has recorded in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry, CWG and Vodacom Business Nigeria have canvassed its application to the ICT industry. Read More

Teachers recognised for best use of ICTs

The MTN Foundation and Cameroon’s Ministry of Secondary Education have recognised teachers who make the best use of ICTs in education. Read More

Use ICTs to boost entrepreneurship, DRC youth told

Young people in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have been told to use the information and communication technologies (ICTs) in their quest to boost their entrepreneurship initiatives. Read More

LINKZ ICT challenge getting bigger

The fourth annual Botho University LINKZ ICT challenge this year attracted a sizeable number of students from both the tertiary and secondary school students.  Read More

Closing the ‘mobile’ gap in your DR strategy

As technology has evolved, vulnerabilities have opened up in many organisations’ DR strategies and infrastructure, particularly with regard to mobility, says Drive Control Corporation. Read More

Congo’s financial sector ‘falling in love’ with ICTs

The financial sector in Congo-Brazzaville seems to be falling in love thick and fast with ICTs. Read More

Adapt to ICTs or die, DRC postal service told

On Thursday 9 October 2014, while the world was celebrating World Postal Day, a top official of Société Congolaise de Postes et Télécommunications (SCPT) dropped a bombshell, saying that the country’s postal service needed to adapt to the information and communication technologies (ICTs) if it hoped ... Read More

Partnership enables immediate delivery of cloud services

On the back of its partnership with cloud distributor Cloud On Demand, local cloud service provider Alto Africa has dramatically increased the speed and delivery of its shrink-wrapped cloud solutions to customers. Read More

Oracle launches capacity-building programme to close IT skills gap in Africa

Oracle Corporation has announced an initiative designed to enrich and increase the skills capacity of IT practitioners in Africa.  Read More

PRESS OFFICES

Sage ERP AfricaSAP AfricaSage Pastel AccountingTrust PayVMWareSamsung ElectronicsMitsumi DistributionPhoenix DistributionSage HR AfricaMTN BusinessSchneider ElectricMultichoice

FEATURED STORY

Growing African focus on data securityGrowing African focus on data security

Beachhead Solutions’ new SA and Mauritius country manager explains the challenges and solutions around securing customer data and compliance with new personal information legislation.

IN DEPTH

Africa lags on digital migration Africa 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.