Technology and software are among the most important investments a company can make nowadays, especially when it comes to security. The growing demand for IT services and security solutions prove that business owners know the threats that are out there, and want to do something to guard themselves against increasingly cunning cybercriminals.
You might have purchased a well-rounded security solution with all the recommended features a business might need, but was the investment really worth it? A forthcoming report from security solutions provider Trustwave found that organizations of all sizes are wasting their security dollars, and none more so than small businesses.
According to Trustwave's survey of 172 IT professionals, small businesses spent an average of $157 per user last year on security software, compared with $73 per user in larger companies. Nearly 30 percent of that investment ended up underutilized or never used due to non- or misuse of security controls and features. And yet, companies still increased their spending from 2013 by 44 percent. [5 Tips for Improving Your Small Business Cybersecurity]
Why did businesses end up letting their security software go partially to waste, despite significant increases in IT spending? Many organizations cited a lack of resources: 35 percent of respondents said their IT staff was too busy to implement their security solutions properly, while 33 percent said they simply didn't have the manpower to do so.
With the alarming number of high-profile corporate breaches in 2014, businesses of all sizes are aware that they need to invest in top-of-the-line solutions. The Trustwave survey found that IT professionals expect a 43 percent increase in their use of cloud-based or managed security services this year. But the financial constraints many small companies face can prove to be an obstacle to proper security. Here are a few IT-related tips to help you save money, which can then be reallocated toward the technological and staffing resources you need to protect yourself.
- Track any IT/software purchases you make to ensure you're staying within your budget.
- Carefully monitor your software usage and eliminate any solutions that aren't being used.
- Seek out products that are designed for small business — some companies offer free or discounted versions of their product to very small companies.
For more advice, check out Business News Daily's list of ways to cut your IT budget here.