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SMB Trends: What I Learned from My CIO Friends

Created: 07 Jul 2011 • Updated: 07 Jul 2011
Jordan Pusey's picture
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Hi Everyone,

Last week I attended a conference in which 150 CIOs of small and mid-size business gathered together to discuss the latest technology and business trends.  It was interesting to hear their feedback.  They were pretty happy to interact with someone from Symantec and I got an earful.  Here are a few nuggets of information that I was able to get from them during our discussions.

  • Mobile is a HUGE concern.  More people are getting mobile devices and would like to use them on the corporate network.  Anti-virus and management would be great on these devices to help protect the device and other assets on the network, but they were more concerned about what is on those devices and how to secure the information.  Losing a Blackberry or iPhone is a nominal cost, but what if it’s the CEOs?  Or what if it’s full of credit card information or personal medical information.  That would be disastrous to a small or mid-size business. 
  • Consumerization is difficult.  This group of CIOs I talked with would love to lock down every system and have them all company owned, but it’s getting harder and harder to do with so many exciting new options.  What’s even more difficult is that everyone from the CEO to the IT Consultant to the VP of Marketing wants their iPod, iPad, or Android device to access company email and corporate information.  This is not only difficult to ignore, it’s going to be difficult to manage and secure.
  • Small and mid-size businesses just do not understand all of the details around security.  We had a lively discussion about how an IT department randomly dropped infected USB drives in the parking lot and around the building.  The only “virus” they had was a simple tracking program that sent the IT administrator the name of the computer, the user-id, and which USB device was plugged into the system.  It was pretty scary the information that they received.
  • Backup?  Is that for servers?  SMBs suffer from lack of funds and lack of knowledge when it comes to backup.  Many put some effort into backing up their critical servers, but still have no off-site backup plan.  Client systems, especially those that could contain some critical information about the company, are mostly ignored.  Multi-tier backup is simply unknown in a smaller company or just plain expensive.

It was a lively conversation.  The gentleman sitting next to me worked for a company that did background checks and was extremely intersted in protecting his company from threats and from data-loss.  I probably shared a bit too much personal information with the guy that could easily get all the dirt on me  ;)

So now that you’ve heard the highlights, I’d like to hear from you.  What are some of the concerns you are seeing from your customers?  How can Symantec help?  Now is your chance to interact with some of the Symantec experts who monitor this group.

I’m anxious to hear your thoughts,

 

Jordan Pusey