UK organisations spend an average of 143 hours or 18 working days per month just managing on-site security solutions and related problems, according to new research from Webroot, the first Internet security service company. The most time consuming activity was identified as managing software and/or hardware updates, an indicator of why companies are increasingly considering cloud security products to reduce IT workloads and costs.
Webroot surveyed 271 IT decision-makers with 100 to 5,000 employees in the United Kingdom. The research found that companies with more mobile or remote workers were at greater risk from security threats; UK companies with 25 per cent or more of their employees enabled with remote access are twice as likely to have had a network infection through a USB device or a website compromise. This can also be considered a major contributor to re-imaging infected machines being identified as the second most time consuming activity for IT departments.
“The burden of managing on-premise security solutions is clearly taking a toll on IT departments,” said Gerhard Eschelbeck, chief technology officer, Webroot. “On-premise solutions, whether they’re appliances or software, simply cannot keep up with today’s threat landscape, which is complicated by the need to protect a highly mobile workforce. Almost three quarters of the UK companies we surveyed have at least a quarter of their employees remotely accessing corporate servers, and this exposes them to a greater number of security threats of all varieties. This, coupled with the sheer volume of IT hours spent managing on-premise security solutions means many organisations need security solutions that are more effective and easier to manage and update. For example, those using cloud-based security are 30 per cent less likely to experience phishing attacks than those using on-premise security solutions, 25 per cent less likely to experience viruses or worms, and 20 per cent less likely to experience spyware. ”
According to the study, the time and cost associated with managing on-site security solutions is substantial for UK companies:
Managing software and hardware updates alone plunders 21 hours per month
Only six per cent of respondents said that managing software and hardware updates has no impact on their IT resources
Re-imaging infected machines is the second biggest drain on IT resources with this taking up 20 hours per month on average
Managing definition file updates is the next most time-consuming activity with an average of 19 hours dedicated to this per month
Companies with a quarter or more of their employees enabled with remote access face the greatest threats:
Network infections through USB devices doubles (from 20 per cent to 41 per cent) as does website compromises (13 per cent to 25 per cent)
Exposure to viruses or worms increases by 23 per cent and hacking attacks by 51 per cent
Viruses or worms were the most prevalent IT security threats to UK businesses last year, with more than 60 per cent experiencing these.
Spyware was the second most experienced threat by 54 per cent of businesses
A good proportion of UK companies are aware of the added threats posed by mobile working:
36 per cent of respondents rank securing laptop and mobile users as one of their top security challenge in 2011
The next highest ranked security challenges for UK companies in 2011 are preventing data breaches (30 per cent) and protecting against web-based malware (24 per cent)
Cloud security is an increasingly growing market in the face of these on-premise security challenges:
A number of UK companies are planning to implement cloud-based Web security solutions (44 per cent), cloud-based email security solutions (43 per cent) and endpoint/cloud solutions (38 per cent) in either 2011 or 2012
The three main motivations for implementing cloud-based Web security solutions are identified as improved effectiveness against threats (29 per cent), reduced burden on IT staff (29 per cent) and simplified management of security (44 per cent)Read more →