A Closer Look at the Symantec 2010 Global SMB Information Protection Survey

Paul Mah

I just wrote about how SMBs are now more concerned about security than in the past, based on the results of a new study commissioned by security vendor Symantec. Indeed, the 2010 Global SMB Information Protection Survey found median SMB spending on information protection to be $51,000.


There was a lot more to be found in the 93-page PowerPoint that summarizes the key findings of the survey though, and I pulled out some interesting nuggets of information from the questions posed to the surveyed SMBs. I've also added my own thoughts to the findings below.


  • Disasters encountered in past five years that involve recovery operations at a recovery site -- Average of 6.69.

It's always a good idea to ensure that your SMB's disaster-recovery preparations are up to snuff. It's worth considering that 6.69 disasters over five years equates to at an average of one disaster a year.


  • Disasters affecting the data center -- Top three: Power failure (53 percent), computer hardware failure (37 percent) and network failure (29 percent).


Power failures lead the pack, which brings to mind Intuit's recent major outage, which the company said was due to an accidental power failure. Perhaps it's time for your SMB to proceed with much-needed hardware upgrades or equipment replacement, especially if they were deferred amid the global financial meltdown last year.


  • Status of deduplication implementation -- Top four: Already installed (32 percent), implementing (28 percent), discussing (22 percent), no plans/no idea (17 percent).


I was surprised by the number of SMBs that have already installed deduplication solutions for their storage needs, and those who are in discussion over whether to do so. Clearly, even SMBs see a benefit in this technology. You can read more about adopting a NAS strategy for your SMB here.


  • Where do you store your backup data (Check all that apply) -- Network storage (63 percent), portable hard disk (42 percent), tape (35 percent), DVDs or BlueRay (27 percent), online with service provider (17 percent), others (1 percent).

Many computer makers have released NAS appliances targeted toward small and mid-sized businesses lately. With so many SMBs relying on network storage, it is clear why such hardware is considered a lucrative market. Uptake of online storage seems fairly conservative to date, though I would consider it relatively substantial considering that it's a fairly new idea.

  • What percentage of your computer support team comes from each of the following -- Internal staff (56 percent), consultants (19 percent), VARS/dealers (15 percent), friends (9 percent), others (1 percent).


Not surprisingly, the majority of SMBs have internal staffers to support IT within their organizations. A fairly large number of businesses appear to be relying on "friends" to take care of their support, though, which isn't an optimal situation.

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