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Symantec Survey Finds Surprising Number of Small Businesses Not Protecting Data on Virtualised Servers

Singapore – September 7, 2011Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC) today announced the findings of its 2011 Small Business Virtualisation Poll which examined the adoption of virtualisation within small businesses and its impact on their organisations. According to the survey, small businesses have a strong interest in virtualisation, but are still learning how to adopt it in their organisations. As they implement server virtualisation, small businesses are putting their data at risk. The survey found that most small businesses aren't taking the most basic steps to secure and protect their virtual environments. The survey is based on 658 respondents in 28 countries worldwide, of which 306 were from the Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ) region.

“Virtualisation presents an opportunity for small businesses with seventy-two percent in the APJ region considering server virtualization,” said David Dzienciol, Symantec's vice president, Channels and SMB, Asia Pacific and Japan. “The majority of respondents cited cost efficiencies and disaster-recovery readiness as benefits they're hoping to gain, with most still early in the adoption cycle. We also found that many small businesses are neglecting to protect their virtual environments, largely due to budget and staffing constraints.”

Click to Tweet: Only 13 percent of small businesses in Asia Pacific and Japan back up data in virtual environments: http://bit.ly/qqi70Y

Survey Highlights

Financial Benefits Driving Decision to Virtualise. Seventy-two percent of respondents from APJ said their organisations are considering virtualisation. Not surprisingly, financial benefits rank highest among reasons to adopt server virtualisation. Reduced capital expense was cited by 68 percent, while 67 percent respectively said reduced operating expense and the ability to improve disaster-recovery readiness would drive their decisions to deploy virtualisation. Other benefits include the ability to use fewer servers for the same number of applications (65 percent) and improved server scalability (65 percent).

Limited IT Skills Holding Some Small Businesses Back. Despite their interest, small businesses are finding it difficult to move from discussions to execution. Only eight percent of APJ-based respondents have deployed virtualised servers and they are focusing their early-stage efforts on simpler, less critical application areas. Top challenges include performance (64 percent), backup (61 percent) and workload capacity and planning issues (58 percent). Nearly a third of small businesses not now planning virtualisation cited lack of experience as a factor.

Data on Virtualised Servers Lacking Basic Security Protection. As small businesses move to virtual environments, they do not protect and secure their data. Only 13 percent always back up their virtualised servers and 24 percent backup infrequently or not at all. They are not doing any better in securing their data – only 40 percent are completely secured. Respondents say budget and staffing issues are preventing them from taking these essential actions. Even those who said they are somewhat or completely secure are, in fact, less secure than they think. A staggering 76 percent forego endpoint protection, 73 percent do not have antivirus on their virtual servers, and 51 percent don't have a firewall.


Fortunately there are some simple things small businesses can do to make sure they are properly protecting their data and systems:

Define a virtualisation strategy: Work with an IT consultant to develop a strategy. Proactively develop guidelines and assess your data protection and security needs. Determine if moving to these cloud services are right for you. Once you have a strategy, develop a plan and stick to it.

Secure your virtual environments: Consider what security solutions you need to secure your virtual environment, including a firewall, antivirus, and endpoint security. Make sure you have established security practices as an additional layer of protection.

Protect your data: Have a simplified approach to backup. Implement a solution that protects both physical and virtual environments. Consider a data deduplication solution to save space and time.

Symantec's Small Business Virtualisation Poll

Symantec's Small Business Poll is the result of research conducted in May 2011 by Applied Research, which surveyed IT professionals responsible for managing computer resources at small businesses with between 5 and 249 employees. The survey was designed to gauge how small businesses are embracing virtualisation. The survey included 658 respondents in 28 countries in North America, EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa), Asia Pacific and Japan, and Latin America.


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