More than 7 in 10 IT decision makers for businesses with 11 to 500 employees reported that network-based security solutions improve businesses’ overall security, according to a SMB network security study from Spiceworks sponsored by CenturyLink, Inc.

Key findings from the survey reveal that even with added emphasis on network security in the SMB segment, businesses are still facing significant security risks. Over 80% of businesses have experienced a security threat in the last year and over 70% cited ‘phishing’ schemes as problematic.

Some of the other top findings from the SMB network security study include:

  • Nearly eight in 10 IT decision makers in the survey manage network security in-house.
  • Despite having multiple layers of security protections in place, more than eight in 10 (82%) of those surveyed reported experiencing at least one type of security threat in the past year, while more than seven in 10 (73%) cited phishing. Meanwhile, 48% reported ransom/spyware and 36% cited other malware.
  • Survey respondents typically watch over an average of three wide-area networks (WAN), usually fiber/carrier Ethernet, broadband and wireless local-area networks (LAN).
  • The most common primary network connectivity issues that IT professionals are responsible for include network failovers, reliability, availability, cost and security.
  • IT decision makers are comfortable leveraging network-based security capabilities. Survey respondents deploy an average of seven network-based security capabilities, led by anti-virus, anti-malware, anti-spam, and URL filtering/blocking.

“As cyber threats evolve and proliferate, mid-sized businesses face the particular challenge of protecting themselves from the same sophisticated operators as large enterprises, but with far fewer staff and resources,” said Vernon Irvin, president of CenturyLink’s government, education, medium and small business group, in a prepared statement. “For today’s digital businesses, it’s essential for security to be seamless with the network, rather than a series of add-on solutions.”

CenturyLink has been touting its security offerings. Earlier this year, we reported that the company had launched Adaptive Network Security Mobility, designed to allow enterprises to route mobile users’ access through next-generation Adaptive Network Security gateways, enabling the consistent application of security policies regardless of how, or where, users connect.

Image courtesy of flickr user Yuri Samoilov.

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