Major incidents unavoidable but most SMBs feel unprepared to handle them, surveys find

IT-security managers in Australian small and medium businesses (SMBs) feel more conflict from time pressures than their peers in other countries, according to new research that also found that just 37 percent of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) consider themselves “completely ready” to manage security threats and only half are prepared to deal with threats from employees and other insiders.

The Webroot 2015 SMB Threat Report, which surveyed 700 IT decision-makers in the US, UK, and Australia, found that 39 percent were “almost ready” to handle IT-security threats while 21 percent were “somewhat ready”.

Fully 64 percent said they were ready to deal with insecure web sites and phishing attempts, while 60 percent were on top of unsecured endpoints and 55 percent could handle unsecured internal and external networks. Just 52 percent said they were ready to detect and manage insider threats.

Some 61 percent of Australians – far more than the 50 percent of US and 55 percent of UK respondents – said they didn't have enough time to stay abreast of the latest cybersecurity threats. Australian respondents were also less confident in their endpoint security, with just 55 percent expressing endpoint confidence compared with 63 percent in the US and UK.

"SMBs play a pivotal role in helping drive the economies of all the countries polled, but past experiences have taught them they face an uphill battle when it comes to cybersecurity," said Webroot director of product marketing George Anderson in a statement. "This perception must change.”

The Webroot findings echo the results of another new survey, conducted by Dimensional Research for communications solutions provider xMatters, which recently surveyed 400 companies globally on their incident response capabilities and found that only 52 percent of companies had major-incident teams and standard processes in place.

That presented a significant problem for businesses – but was no surprise to respondents, given that 72 of respondents said major incidents are an unavoidable fact of business and 60 percent of large organisations experience a major IT outage at least monthly.

“At long last, IT departments and business leaders are on the same page when it comes to recognising the severity of business impact during a major incident and the importance of solving disruptions as quickly as possible,” Dimensional Research principal David Gehringer said in a statement.

“However, they’re unfortunately falling far short of their goals of solving problems on time and in an efficient manner, often due to poor alerting and communications management.”

Read more: How Can I Protect Myself from Identity Theft Online?

Lack of funding is often pinpointed as the scapegoat for such shortcomings: fully 60 percent of the Webroot survey respondents blamed their inadequate response capabilities on a lack of resources for maintaining their defences, although annual IT security budgets were set to increase by an average of 22 percent next year.

Only 24 percent of SMBs had inhouse IT-security organisations to handle their defences, while 9 percent outsourced their security to a managed service provider and 27 percent relied on a mix of the two approaches.

The remainder used a range of approaches to delegating IT security, with 32 percent handing IT-security responsibilities to people with other IT responsibilities and 5 percent relying on non-IT employees to handle IT security.

Security ALERT!

Need help making the right choice for you business? Need to update your system but don't know where to start? CSO can help, check out our security hub today.

Gigamon Transform Security Zone

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Dimensional ResearchWebrootIT-security managersWebroot 2015 SMB Threat ReportSMBssmall and medium-sized businesses (SMBs)

More about CSOGigamonMIMWebroot

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by David Braue

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    IDG Live Webinar:The right collaboration strategy will help your business take flight

    Speakers - Mike Harris, Engineering Services Manager, Jetstar - Christopher Johnson, IT Director APAC, 20th Century Fox - Brent Maxwell, Director of Information Systems, THE ICONIC - IDG MC/Moderator Anthony Caruana

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts