CDW Poll: Data Loss Considered as the Top Threat for SMBs

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CDW surveyed 200 IT managers of small and mid-sized businesses in March to investigate what they perceive to be security threats, as well as preventive measures that they are taking against these threats. Half of those surveyed say they support networks with less than 500 workstations (end-user seats or nodes) while 25 percent say they manage networks with between 501-1,500 nodes. The rest manage large networks consisting of 1,501 and more nodes.


In terms of measures put in place to mitigate threats on the security front, 68 percent of those polled says they have a dedicated IT security administrator or team in place. While no further break-down on this aspect was in the report from CDW, it is clear that SMBs are placing much more emphasis on the security arena now. This is encouraging and appears to be in line with a Forrester report earlier this year that SMB IT security spending is set to increase.


Somewhat surprisingly, the threat of data loss has emerged as the top cyber-security challenge or threat identified by these managers. Specifically, this is an area that is cause for concern for 37 percent of the polled managers. For reference, "evolved" forms of current attacks such as viruses and worms rated second at 24 percent, while targeted malicious attacks are third at 18 percent.


Considering the number of well-tested products and solutions available for data backup and protection, this top concern of SMBs is actually preventable with the right infrastructure or acquisition of the right equipment -- and some diligence in getting business-critical information properly replicated.


In line with the findings of the study, I shall be covering more about the various facets of data backup in my next few posts. Coincidentally, I have already planned to write about the benefits of adopting a NAS strategy and also how the use of cloud-based storage service can bring about much higher reliability in data archival. I shall also be reviewing a couple of devices that can be used to complement SMB's data backup regime, and also for securing portable data.


Do feel free to chip in with relevant ideas.


In the meantime, you can access the CDW 2010 Threat Prevention Straw Poll Report here or read about backup strategies for SMBs.