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Report: Security Concerns Spark Rise of SD-WANs in Small, Medium-Sized Businesses

Untangle Inc. published a study on IT security in small and medium-size businesses, concluding that cloud-based services and the increasing number of branch office networks are promoting the rise of software-defined wide-area networking (SD-WAN).

In its SMB IT Security Report, the company noted the continuing adoption of cloud computing and the growing number of branch offices and remote workers.

"Managing these branch offices have become top-of-mind as SMB's are now coming up against the same needs that have led Enterprises to adopt software-defined wide-area networking (SD-WAN) solutions," the company said in a statement. "61 percent of SMBs note that branch office management and maintaining network security are their biggest incentives to deploy SD-WAN solutions for their organization."

Furthermore, the company noted that 20 percent of respondents were investigating SD-WAN solutions for their organizations.

Looking Into SD-WAN
[Click on image for larger view.] Looking Into SD-WAN (source: Untangle).

Other highlights of the survey listed by Untangle include:

  • 80 percent of small and midsize businesses rank IT security as a priority to their business.
  • 29 percent of those surveyed spend less than $1,000 on IT security annually.
  • 52 percent of small and midsize businesses do not have a dedicated IT security professional on staff and distribute the responsibility across other roles.
  • 40 percent of small and midsize businesses operate in at least five physical locations, including remote access workers.
  • 51 percent of businesses have up to 100 devices connected to their network, including desktops, tablets, mobile devices, printers, etc.
  • 48 percent of those surveyed list Budget constraints as the main barrier faced when it comes to IT security, followed by limited time to research and understand new threats (36 percent) and rogue employees who do not follow guidelines (32 percent).
  • When it comes to purchasing IT security solutions, small and midsize businesses rank firewall/network security, antivirus/anti-malware, and identity access management as the most important features to their organization.
  • Most SMBs (74 percent) have at least part of their IT infrastructure deployed in the cloud.

"As employee-based remote offices and branch offices continue to expand, SD-WAN deployment will be critical in establishing secure connections between employee locations separated by distance, offering network-wide control and visibility for incoming threats or attacks," Untangle said.

"Businesses with remote workers and branch offices need to consider IT security in a more complex capacity than a single-location infrastructure. Software-defined WAN solutions help organizations optimize their internet connections and easily create one global office network: across service providers, physical locations, and networks. At least 24 percent of those surveyed have or plan to implement an SD-WAN solution into their network infrastructure with the goal of reducing risks to the network and managing branch offices."

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.

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