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Biztech Sep 15, 2012

SME BYOD And Security Violations On The Rise

By Biztech2.com Staff

Based on a survey of over 100 SME IT Security Providers during June and July 2012, and its own independent analysis, Osterman Research looked into the current state of SME security and the benefits of faster protection and published the white paper, "The Cloud Advantage: Increased Security and Lower Costs for SMBs."

The white paper reports that the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend of employees using personal mobile devices and laptops for work is increasing among SMEs. The typical SME employee uses a number of endpoint devices – a desktop computer, a laptop, a smartphone, a tablet, and home computers with various applications on them, all vectors through which malware can enter their SME organisation's network. Cyber criminals employ multiple compromised endpoints and social networking to reach large numbers of targets, targeting the more popular mobile devices such as Android and iOS.

The Osterman Research survey also found:

  • Android usage gained the largest increase in SME, with the number of Google Androids being used in SMEs increasing 7.1 percent from 2011. The number of Apple iPhones being used in SMEs increased 3.1 percent, and Apple iPad usage has increased 1.9 percent from 2011.

  • During a typical month 4.3 percent of endpoints become infected, which translates to an infection rate of 52.1 percent annually.

  • During the past several years a growing number of organisations reported security violations through their use of web and email. Between 2007 and 2012 there was a 35-percent growth in web violations and a 12-percent growth in email violations, suggesting that security violations – malware, phishing and related types of attacks – are growing steadily over time.

The various endpoint devices proliferating in SMEs need to be properly secured to protect the company from malware, phishing and related attacks. Data breaches are becoming so costly that many organisations are at risk of being put out of business through direct financial losses or the high cost of direct or indirect data loss. Last year alone, more than a billion dollars was stolen from small and midsize bank accounts. Besides the consequences to SMEs of data loss, financial loss, or the potential interception of sensitive content, IT Security Providers must spend time and money cleaning customers' endpoints. Osterman Research found that it takes a mean elapsed time of 72 minutes to remediate a single endpoint, time wasted that could have been avoided with better security.

Additional Findings:

  • IT labour costs are high. The survey found that each IT staff member supports only 33 endpoints, resulting in a total IT labour cost of $2,400 per endpoint or $79,200 per year.

  • 5.2 percent of IT staff time during a typical week is spent on email security management.

There is a greater likelihood of malware-related infections for the many SMEs who update their pattern files/signatures only a few times per day. There is a greater chance of infection during the security time gap between when malware is released and when the protection is deployed across the various endpoints. To combat this problem SMEs should update more regularly, as close to real time as possible. Solutions that manage threat intelligence and pattern file/signature updates in the cloud save on endpoint computing resources and allow security solutions to detect and remediate newly discovered threats more quickly. This will result in lower costs and fewer infections, coupled with fewer IT resource requirements and less time spent on cleaning devices, as well as less time spent managing email and web security.

by Biztech2.com Staff

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