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
@iLabAfrica to stage kids’ ICT boot camp@iLabAfrica, Strathmore University is organizing a 9-day Holiday Boot Camp for Primary and High School Students from 7th April 2015 to 17th April. Read More
Light sensor market to grow 16% by 2016Samsung, Apple and Chinese OEMs will drive revenue in the light sensor market to grow 16 percent between 2013 and 2016, according to a new report from IHS. Read More
Nairobi to host regional digital fairNairobi is set to host the second annual East Africa digital Marketing Summit & Show, an annual event designed to bring together key players in the digital marketing space from the East African region. Read More
Is Africa ready to facilitate large-scale satellite deployments?With the advent of High Throughput Satellite (HTS) services within Africa’s connected business environment, the question of what happens with the remainder of the satellite supply value chain is relevant. Read More
VMware unveils vCloud for NFV with Integrated OpenStack to accelerate service innovationVMware, the global leader in virtualisation and cloud infrastructure, today debuted VMware vCloud for NFV, an integrated Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) platform that will combine VMware’s production-proven virtualised compute, networking, storage and management solutions with integrated OpenStack support. Read More
Continual service improvement: key to tackling top ITSM challengesA lack of understanding of ITSM and its impact on business hindered its effectiveness in 2014, says Marval Africa. Read More
Advanced analytics and telecoms – a power combinationTelecommunications and advanced analytics are a symbiotic duo that can help fast track African development and revolutionise business, says LGR Telecommunications. Read More
Cameroon college gets affordable, quality Keepod devicesTeaching and learning have since dramatically changed and improved at the College Socka Bongue in Cameroon thanks to the supply by Keepod of 650 computing devices and 26 laptops, with each device costing as little as US$7. Read More
Elephant census not ready for drone technologyElephants Without Borders, a Botswana conservation project which is bankrolled by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, has shelved the use of drone technology during future elephant census expeditions. Read More
Indigenous technical skills critical to growth, says Skysat chiefSkysat Technologies Limited CEO Izzat Debs says the conscious development of indigenous technical skills in Nigeria remains one of the ways of developing the ICT sector of the country to make it grow the nation’s GDP. Read More
FEATURED STORY2bn priced out of internet access
A new report from the Alliance for Affordable Internet shows that the price of broadband remains prohibitive for billions in developing and emerging countries, with women and rural dwellers hardest hit.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHVillagers get solar training at Barefoot College
The Botswana Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) has seconded seven semi-illiterate mostly Ngwatle villagers for a six month solar electrification training course at the famed Barefoot College in India.
COMPANY NEWSMTN Group Sustainability Report released
MTN Group’s efforts to advance social development in its markets through the integration of sustainable business practices into day-to-day activities, is yielding positive outcomes, the company’s Sustainability ...