But purchasing and installing the technology is only the first step and to provide effective protection, these technologies must be correctly installed, configured, maintained and monitored.
Kelly Kavanagh, research director at Gartner said: ‘Although the internet helps small and medium businesses to enhance communications and collaboration among employees, customers, business partners and suppliers, it also potentially exposes enterprise systems and corporate data to the bad guys.’
‘As business requirements, technology and threats evolve, small and medium businesses should update firewall policies, virus and intrusion detection technology to reflect these changes. These technologies need maintenance with patches and updates.’
Kavanagh pointed out that in most companies, the staff responsible for IT security functions are also responsible for other activities and often spend most of their time on non-security projects.
‘Once the tools are in place, many companies find that maintaining and managing infrastructure stretches staff availability and expertise. In resource constrained smaller business, such added responsibility is often too taxing,’ she said.
One way of tackling this problem is to outsource the maintenance of network security technology to a managed security service provider, said Kavanagh.
‘A managed security services provider is the most cost effective way for small and medium businesses to maintain around the clock network security,’ she concluded.
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