With IT security, small businesses must plan for future growth today

CANCUN, MEX. — For the smaller of small businesses, when it comes to IT security it can be tempting to just go with a consumer-grade solution from their local big box retailer. A more commercial solution will offer a lot more protection though, as well as set a business up for future growth, according to security vendor Kaspersky Lab.

In an interview with ITBusiness.ca at Kaspersky North America’s annual channel partner conference, Matt Goulet, vice-president of small and medium-sized enterprise sales and operations for Kaspersky North America, said when they speak with a very small business about their IT security needs, every business generally has plans for growth.

“Our conversations are around their security posture no matter how large they are. The virtue of Kaspersky is we bring enterprise security to the masses, and make it easy to secure, deploy and manage,” said Goulet. “We don’t feel the consumer products allow small seat customers to do that.”

Management tools, deployment tools, and robust support are among the reasons Goulet feels it’s a better idea for small businesses to go with a commercial product over a consumer offering. He added a small company needn’t necessarily have dedicated IT resources or expertise to benefit from that more robust feature-set.

“It’s really an out of the box experience where we give you security and the controls to make it as granular or as simple as you like,” said Goulet. “You can set it and forget it and decide how management is pushed to you, or you can get as granular as you want.”

It’s generally around the five to 10 seat level when a commercial product begins to make the most sense for small business, said Goulet. The vendor has networking and management capabilities in its Pure 2.0 offering for consumer users, but for small businesses in this segment Goulet said Small Office Security offers a higher grade of protection, along with a customizable management console

“It’s designed for small businesses under 25 seats who are right in that consumer/corporate (tipping point,” said Goulet. “We see it as a burgeoning market for us, which is why we’ve developed that product.”

Kaspersky also recently launched Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Business. It offers new features, such as mobile device management, and with a per-device licensing model Goulet said it scaled down well into the SME space. And he added small business can benefit from more enterprise-grade offerings, as the threats they’re facing today aren’t that different from those faced by larger businesses.

Matt Goulet leads Kaspersky Lab North America’s go to market in the small business space as VP of SME sales and operations.

“Any small business can be targeted, and we’ve seen that. There’s wide adoption among the smaller companies now that understand they need robust protection, because they’re the target of the same robust attacks, but are further constrained by budget and IT resources,” said Goulet. “Smaller businesses are getting more sophisticated because they have to.”

For a small business looking to get a handle on its IT security posture, Goulet recommends they begin with a company-wide security policy that’s published and agreed upon. They need to identify what their goals and concerns are, and at a minimum have the most robust antivirus protection available.

“And they need to account for growth,” said Goulet. “They should have a three to five-year security plan in place so they understand some of the challenges they’ll see as they grow.”

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras is a technology journalist with IT World Canada and a member of the IT Business team. He began his career in technology journalism in the late 1990s, covering the Ottawa technology sector for Silicon Valley North and the Ottawa Business Journal. He later covered the technology scene in Vancouver before joining IT World Canada in Toronto in 2005, covering enterprise IT for ComputerWorld Canada and the channel for Computer Dealer News. His writing has also appeared in the Vancouver Sun & the Ottawa Citizen.

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