• July 4, 2006
  • By Colin Beasty, (former) Associate Editor, CRM Magazine

SMBs Will Spend Big Bucks on Security

SMBs worldwide are set to spend $11.4 billion on IT security and infrastructure this year to thwart increasing electronic threats. This spending trend will increase at a double-digit rate over the next several years, according to a study by AMI-Partners. The study, based on surveys of SMBs in more than 20 countries, found that in nearly every country IT security continues to be among the top concerns for SMBs. "Over 75 percent of all medium businesses (100-999 employees) and almost 60 percent of small businesses (1-99 employees) surveyed in the developed economies indicated that enhancing IT security was very important for them," says Anil Miglani, senior vice president at AMI-Partners and author of the report. Total spending is growing rapidly, fueled by the continued adoption of security products like antivirus, antispyware, and firewall/VPN (virtual private network) solutions. This adoption and spending has been rising rapidly in recent years, Miglani says, driven by SMBs' increasing awareness of electronic threats and the use of IT to store business-critical data. In particular, SMBs are catching onto the benefits of the Web. "The growing use of broadband Internet connectivity and the increasing electronic transactions with their customers and suppliers has made SMBs very security conscious," Miglani says. "Electronic security breaches have received a lot of attention in recent years." The U.S. continues to be the single largest market for IT security products and services, according to the study, though other emerging markets, such as Europe and parts of Asia, are growing nearly twice as fast. Despite this rapid growth, Miglani says there remains a vast, untapped potential. AMI estimates there are about 13 million SMBs worldwide that don't even have an antivirus solution installed on their PCs. Additionally, there are millions of other SMBs that are still in the adoption phase. Miglani says security vendors, such as McAfee, Symantec, and Trend Micro, are responding. "Vendors have recognized the importance of this market and have started offering tailored products and services designed to meet the functional and budgetary requirements of SMBs." Security suites, or those solutions that integrate antivirus, antispyware, and firewalls into one package, are one such example, according to Miglani. They will reduce SMBs' IT cost and maintenance by consolidating and converging multiple, best-of-breed products into one. Related articles: IT Security Must Invest in Suite Products
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