Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have often endured criticism for their comparatively poor records on network and data security. But according to the latest projections from market researchers at AMI-Partners, any future discrepancies will not be for a lack of trying.
Funding follows new priorities
SMBs are well aware that their modest IT security resources often pale in comparison to those of large corporations. But in today's digital landscape, neither regulators nor cybercriminals seem concerned with making such distinctions. Auditors will not lower the bar on compliance expectations and hackers will not gear down the power of their attacks. And as smaller firms are starting to realize the new rules of the road, funding is expected to flood their IT security programs in the coming years.
According to AMI-Partners, global SMB security spending will experience a compound annual growth rate of more than 10 percent between 2011 and 2016. Aside from an increase in scale, there will also be a redistribution of investment to align with evolving priorities. Most notably, cloud security services are expected to attract 24 percent of total spending in 2016, up from 17 percent in 2011.
"Security is a complex issue with rapidly changing permutations. Widespread lack of technical resources and expertise is leading to an increasing desire to outsource the problem among SMBs," report author Hugh Gibbs explained. "This is presenting major opportunities for managed service solutions – particularly for skilled, local channel partners and managed security service providers."
One of the biggest drivers of SMB security spending is, not surprisingly, the rise of the mobile workforce. Smaller firms have recognized a vital opportunity to expand their capabilities and level the playing field by giving their employees the opportunity to work anytime, anywhere. From extending the hours of the workday to exploring new talent pools of remote workers, SMB managers have found friends in the laptop, smartphone and tablet.
For many businesses, the convergence of financial realities and employee preferences has also forced them to embrace the risk-reward strategy that is BYOD (bring your own device) programs. With personal devices carrying corporate assets, data security risk rises exponentially. And as a result, SMBs are finding that the best approach is to stand on the shoulders of giants and leverage cloud-based mobile device management tools.
Cloud Security News from SimplySecurity.com by Trend Micro