With Budgets Flat, EMEA is Underinvesting in Security

Businesses in EMEA are currently underinvesting in security according to the IT professionals that work for them. A full 54% have expressed concerns that their organization is not adequately investing in security, despite greater awareness of cyber threats, and 45% don’t feel their company data is adequately protected.

According to Spiceworks’ 2016 State of IT report, one big indicator of this is a prevalence of outdated systems. A disconcerting 68% and 60% of EMEA companies surveyed are still running Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 respectively—platforms that Microsoft no longer supports or patches. But, only 28% of EMEA respondents said they’re planning a Windows Server 2003 migration. PC OS fares a bit better: 53% plan to invest in Windows 10 in 2016, which is six points higher than the global average.

Just 8% said they’re planning a Microsoft SQL Server 2005 migration, a database application that also reaches end-of-life (EOL) on April 12, 2016.

Overall, 64% stated that technology EOL will be the driving force behind new hardware, software and services investments in 2016. Only 22% of respondents in the region said recent high-profile security incidents have led their organization to change its security practices.

Meanwhile, most expect budgets and headcount to remain flat in 2016 despite expected increases in company revenue. Only 6% of the total IT budgets on average will be allocated to security in 2016; security solutions will make up 5% and 9% of hardware and software budgets next year respectively and 7% of hosted/cloud budgets.

So, it’s no wonder that 76% of EMEA respondents and 71% of North American respondents believe their organization is at risk of an IT security breach.

“Flat budgets will challenge IT professionals in EMEA to be creative with where they allocate their time and resources next year,” said John Webb, director of EMEA marketing at Spiceworks. “Windows 10 upgrades and Windows Server 2003 migrations will continue to influence spending as IT pros focus on projects that will keep businesses running efficiently and directly influence employee productivity.”

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