New Kaseya Survey Highlights Static Maturity Levels and Security Gaps
Kaseya just dropped its fifth annual global “2019 State of IT Operations for Small and Midsize Businesses” survey, with more than 400 participants offering new insights into how IT groups for small and midsize businesses are progressing as IT management demands and external threats grow in number and complexity.
The survey highlights two important primary takeaways: stagnant growth in maturity among SMB and midmarket businesses, and the clamor for proactive IT management.
The data from the study throws into sharp relief the struggles of the sector, highlighting the fact that SMBs and midmarket enterprises have shown no improvement in IT maturity levels in three years. In addition, the data revealed that security is a top priority for these businesses, which recognize the need for urgent and robust protection against increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks and high-profile breaches.
“Fifty-seven percent of the people we surveyed said that security is their top priority, which is significantly higher than last year,” says Mike Puglia, chief marketing officer at Kaseya. “Given everything we’re seeing with breaches, it’s no wonder that percentage is being driven up. It wouldn’t surprise me if it goes up to 70% percent or higher next year.”
According to the survey, 32% of respondents experienced a security breach in the past five years, down slightly from 35% in 2018 with at least 10% of participants saying that they were breached in the past year.
The data also showed that there is much room for improvement concerning automated software patch management among most SMBs. Only 42% of respondents automate or plan to automate patch management, and the same percentage monitor third-party software and apply critical patches within 30 days.
This is a significant gap, given that security breaches are too often the result of a failure to patch in a timely manner. It’s the poster for reactive vs. proactive. More than one-half of respondents marked automated patching as an important area for improvement.
“Hackers are often able to get in through very simple means,” says Puglia. “It’s almost impossible to stop things like phishing attacks, because people inherently want to be helpful. They will click something, and once the hacker gets in, it’s kind of inside an exposed underbelly situation. If you’re not keeping things patched and up to date, and you’re just hoping that the computer automatically updates itself, it’s a hacker’s paradise.”
Puglia goes on to say that vulnerability scanning and patching of all systems on a regular, consistent basis should be everyone’s top, No. 1 priority.
Overall, it’s no surprise that improving security is at the tiptop of the IT priority list for 57% of SMBs, up from 54% in 2018 and 40% in 2017. Slow as it may be, the rise is encouraging.
The survey also touched on cloud backup and disaster recovery. Nearly 90% of respondents claim they back up their servers.
Here’s the glitch. Only 29% of folks back up their SaaS application data (Microsoft Office 365, G Suite, Salesforce and so on), showing no improvement from 2018. The culprit? There’s a significant knowledge gap here, a lack of ownership and understanding that SaaS data backup for anything longer than 30 days is typically the customer’s responsibility, and that there’s a huge risk in not doing so.
As companies haul their critical apps over to the cloud, backing up their SaaS application data is a must.
The other major takeaway from the survey points is the lull in IT maturity. According to the press release, this is defined by a collective set of IT management capabilities and indicative of what the IT department can do for the growth of a business.
Without sugarcoating things, the survey points out that IT maturity has not improved over the past three years.
According to the data, more than one-half of respondents have consistently been …