Sophos: Remote workers create IT security headaches

New research suggest SMBs are struggling to get to grips with mobile workers.

Smartphones

Over 90 per cent of SMBs are adjusting their security policies to deal with remote workers, claims new research.

The survey, carried out by market research firm Vanson Bourne, found that 93 per cent of SMB IT managers are integrating remote working policies into their security provision, while half (52 per cent) expect to in the future.

Remote working, mobile and cloud are having a huge impact on the way small and medium sized businesses think about protecting their networks.

More than 570 SMB IT managers from North America, Europe and Australia took part in the survey.

It found that wireless networks were also a problem for small firms, as a fifth of respondents claimed to lack confidence in them.

The survey also revealed that the average firewall is over five years old and a fifth of respondents said they had suffered a network outage because of a malware infection over the last twelve months.

Cloud concerns

The cloud emerged as a cause of concern for IT managers, with 44 per cent citing the growing need to use cloud-based services as a major worry.

Other concerns for SMB IT managers included sophisticated threats (39 per cent), managing mobile devices (39 per cent) and data loss (35 per cent).

"Trends such as remote working, mobile and cloud are having a huge impact on the way small and medium sized businesses think about protecting their networks," said Gerhard Eschelbeck, chief technology officer at Sophos, the company that commissioned the research.

"A fragmented approach [could leave] networks viable to attack as technologies require more advanced security architectures," said Eschelbeck.

He added that, for many companies, it is time to take a more holistic approach to IT security, "one that ensures all elements of protection function see lessons together," he added.

Speaking at a roundtable discussion in London today, Tracy Andrew, information security and compliance officer at law firm Field Fisher Waterhouse said that many companies don't have the means to detect modern threats.

"Malware in a small company of 20 or 30 users could take out a whole company. Whereas In a large enterprise, the effect may not be so great," he said.

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