Security--and the need to vigilantly maintain it--is a fact of life for IT admins. For larger corporations with dedicated IT departments, and possibly even dedicated security administrators, that may not be an issue, but for small and medium businesses security can be a very taxing burden on limited resources. SMBs should consider cloud-based managed security options to lighten the load.
A new survey conducted by Webroot found that organizations spend an average of 127 hours per month maintaining on-site security solutions and resolving security incidents. That is the equivalent of 16 days out of 20 business days in an average month that someone has to administer and manage the security infrastructure.
Again, for larger companies that might not be an issue. But, many SMBs don't have a dedicated IT department, much less a dedicated security administrator. Having an employee wearing multiple hats forced to dedicate 16 out of 20 days a month to maintaining security means that whatever his "day job" is only gets the remaining 20 percent of his attention. The more likely reality is that the security function will be done poorly, if at all.
"The burden of managing on-premise security solutions is clearly taking a toll on IT departments," said Gerhard Eschelbeck, chief technology officer, Webroot. "On-premise solutions, whether they're appliances or software, simply cannot keep up with today's threat landscape, which is complicated by the need to protect a highly mobile workforce."
Cloud-based managed security solutions offer SMBs a more cost-effective solution. Services such as those offered by Webroot or Panda Security provide a security infrastructure that is managed by the security vendor--freeing up employees to focus on productive business functions. The subscription model minimizes up-front costs, and the security vendor is responsible for keeping the security, and the underlying servers and the rest of the security infrastructure updated and upgraded.
It is also worth noting that the Webroot survey reported fewer security incidents for organizations using cloud-based security. "Those using cloud security are 30 percent less likely to experience phishing attacks than those using on-premise security solutions, 25 percent less likely to experience viruses or worms, and 20 percent less likely to experience spyware."
The bottom line is that computer and network security threats are relentless and defending against them requires expert skills and constant attention. Rather than investing in a security infrastructure and the personnel to maintain it, SMBs should seriously consider the benefits of embracing cloud-based managed security solutions.