Security concerns slow VoIP adoption for small and medium businesses

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Security concerns slow VoIP adoption for small and medium businesses

Looks like yet another survey is claiming SMBs are slow to deploy VoIP - with one of the major concerns being security. You wouldn't think this would be the case since SMBs tend to move faster than larger organizations. There is a bright side in the survey that states SMBs "will probably have greater confidence in the security of IP telephony systems within the next 12 months." In any event, check out the interesting VoIP survey stats below...

Concerns about the security of Internet protocol (IP) telephony systems may slow adoption of the technology by small and mid-sized businesses in the United States, research commissioned by the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) reveals.

A survey of some 300 U.S. businesses with 20-500 employees found that just 48 percent currently trust the security offered by IP telephony solutions available today. By comparison, 76 percent of respondents said they trust the security of traditional telephony systems; 65 percent trust the security of Ethernet data networks; and 55 percent trust wireless local area network security.

On a positive for IP telephony solution providers, 31 percent of the small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) participating in the survey said they will probably have greater confidence in the security of IP telephony systems within the next 12 months.

"There is two-pronged take away from this concern over IP telephony security," said John Venator, president and chief executive officer, CompTIA. "First, product vendors and solutions providers with demonstrable security expertise and qualifications have the potential to gain a competitive advantage with SMB customers. Second, organizations of any size can alleviate their security concerns about communications networks by developing in-house expertise through training and professional certification, such as CompTIA Security+™."

The survey also found that delays and disruptions in voice and data communications are costly for SMBs.  Disruptions in voice and data communications occur at least monthly for 60 percent of the respondents; and 70 percent of those occurrences have a material impact on business. For 8 percent of SMBs, the impact puts the viability of the business at risk. Another 28 percent said they lose some business; while 34 percent said their customers require additional care as a result.

Nearly one-half of businesses with 250-500 employees experienced an attack on its computer network and/or phone system in the past 12 months. Smaller businesses were not immune to such attacks either: 38 percent of SMBs with 100-249 employees, 41 percent of businesses with 50-99 employees and 24 percent of respondents with 20-49 employees suffered a communications network attack in the past year.

CompTIA commissioned IDC, a global provider of market intelligence, advisory services and events for the IT and telecommunications industries, to evaluate the awareness and use of convergent technologies in the U.S. small and mid-sized business (SMB) market. About 40 percent of responding companies participating in the Web survey came from the professional services, healthcare facilities and services, financial and real estate services, and retail trade sectors.

CompTIA, the world's leading provider of vendor-neutral certifications for the information technology (IT) industry, is currently working with product manufacturers, distributors and others active in the convergence market to develop a professional certification that establishes a baseline standard for an IT professional's ability to install and support converged data, voice and video communications solutions.

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