Survey: SMBs spend more on storage than security

Average spend over AUD$130,000

Tight budgets and a lack of expertise are just two of the obstacles cited by small to medium sized enterprises (SME) in Australia when it comes to implementing security and storage solutions, according to the findings of a survey released today.

The survey of 400 IT decision makers in businesses with five to 200 employees and an average turnover of AUD$1.7 million, found respondents are still struggling to deal with Internet security threats and spam.

It found 75 percent uses a spam filtering solution, which is up from 43 percent in 2004.

The Symantec survey also found around 28 percent of e-mails are junk mail with 26 percent hit by a phishing scam.

Symantec's mid-market manager, Steve Martin, said It is reassuring to see SMBs are taking steps to protect their information.

"With significant increases in spam, phishing, bot networks, Trojans and zero-day threats in the last year, it is vital that SMBs take a holistic approach to security to help in combating these threats and reduce downtime," he said.

When it comes to backup and recovery, the biggest hinderance to upgrades is budget.

However, 90 percent of those surveyed are backing up weekly or more frequently with 50 percent doing it daily.

" With 40 percent of Australian respondents saying they use their backups to retrieve information at least once a month, a reliable, trustworthy solution is crucial to any business," Martin said.

When it comes to investing in technology solutions, last year the average spend in Australia was $130,000.

In the SMB market, IT decision-making is often shared between two or more employees. Specialist IT roles are in the minority.

The spend on storage is higher than it is on security solutions while Windows XP is the most common operating system.

Survey results show most SMBs have a number of Internet security and backup and recovery solutions installed, with anti-virus and firewall software being the most common.