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Thursday, September 04, 2008

Survey: VARs Concerned About Cybersecurity, Health Care

Many U.S. businesses fail to take cybersecurity protection seriously and are unwilling to spend money on additional protection, according to a recent survey of value added resellers (VARs) by the Computing Technology Industry Association.  Cybersecurity was the top policy concern for VARs in the August survey by CompTIA, but right behind security was the rising cost of health care for VAR employees, CompTIA said.  Ninety-seven percent of the 109 respondents said they believe U.S. businesses are not secure enough, while 96 percent of respondents said they were concerned about rising health-care costs.

Shoer called health-care costs one of the largest issues facing the U.S.  Rising health-care costs have become a worker-recruiting issue, added Shiv Kumar, executive vice president at ZSL, a VAR in Edison, New Jersey.  Considering our business size, we can’t attract or retain good workforce without offering a good benefits package which could be offered easily by large organizations because of their size,” he said.

In focus groups in late 2007 and early this year, health-care costs came up several times as a top concerns of VAR members of CompTIA, said Michael Wendy, a CompTIA spokesman.

While Shoer and Kumar focused on health-care costs as their top policy concern, they both acknowledged that cybersecurity is a major concern as well.  It can be difficult to talk some customers into buying more cybersecurity products or services, they said.  “We finally had the client sign off on a document that acknowledged our disapproval of this practice and basically absolved us of any responsibility for any problems resulting from this partner’s unwillingness to conform to the firm’s password policy,” he said.

For most small businesses, cybersecurity comes down to a convenience issue, Shoer added.

IT workers need training in technologies such as Web 2.0, unified communication and virtualization, Kumar said.

Posted on 09/04