For many SMBs, “safe” web surfing is an oxymoron. Those companies -- knowingly or unknowingly -- put themselves and their employees at risk because of lax IT security standards. As demonstrated by a new survey from GFI Software, the problem is more pervasive than you may think. Overall, 40% of SMBs have experienced a security breach resulting from employees navigating to a site that hosted malware. Ouch. What's the solution?
Let's start with the risks: Even among SMBs that use a web monitoring solution, Internet safety frequently overlooked. Fifty-five percent of SMBs say defense against infected websites is not their main priority. Twenty-four percent of all SMBs with a web monitoring solution use it mainly to ensure employee productivity; 13.5% to conserve network bandwidth and speed; and 11.5% to prevent employees from visiting inappropriate sites.
And 11.5% of all respondents do not use web monitoring or filtering software at all. Shockingly (or perhaps not), 70% of those not using web monitoring or filtering software claim that web use is not a problem in their organization.
Furthermore, about four in 10 SMBs do not have a solution in place that measures the safeness of a given website based on a rating of its reputation, but 27% say this is a capability they would be interested in.
In addition to the threat of malware and viruses, unmonitored internet activity can also lead to employees abusing company time for personal web usage, with social networks a major problem. Nearly one in three (27.5%) of SMBs do not have a policy in place to govern employee use of social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, and another 16% of SMBs have a social networking use policy, but have no way of monitoring whether employees are adhering to it.
MSP OpportunitiesMSPs have the opportunity to put a halt to all this unsafe surfing and serve as web lifeguards, hosting the solutions and services SMBs need to truly ensure their employees’ web usage does not compromise security and/or efficiency.
We'll offer the standard caveat about vendor-sponsored surveys (GFI specializes in web security software). But the survey data indicates that many SMBs need online protection services -- ranging from anti-malware solutions to remote monitoring services.