‘Risks of cybersecurity threats’ in PH rising — Microsoft Philippines says
Business organizations in the Philippines should be able to put in place better cybersecurity measures to prevent attacks.
One of them, a study shows, is to get rid of, and replace, old PCs, desktops or laptops, being used at work with the latest devices. Migration to newer devices also translates to lesser expenses and improved productivity.
Verlyn Perez, senior channel executive for Multiple Accounts at Microsoft Philippines, cited increasing cyber attacks on older PCs .
“In a country like the Philippines, potential risks of cybersecurity threats are increasing,” she said.
Perez was alluding to the study conducted by Techaisle that surveyed 2,156 SMB (small and medium business) organizations across the Asia Pacific (APAC) region.
Among others, the research has shown, is what should worry business organizations as it revealed that 67 percent of SMBs in 2017 alone “experienced PC security and data theft breaches, with only 15 percent of them actually reporting these attacks.”
The Microsoft Philippines executive noted the importance of SMBs switching to the latest computers.
“A modern PC will secure their operations, while improving productivity and avoiding downtime. SMBs are guaranteed updates that are powered by cloud intelligence, offering unparalleled protection in running their businesses,” Perez said.
Based on the study of Techaisle that Microsoft and Intel commissioned, SMBs still using and maintaining a PC or laptop more than four years old, here’s what they should know.
Read, then decide if you still prefer to keep the status quo and continue losing productivity and money, or decide to better buy one of the latest computers.
This they will learn from the Microsoft- and Intel-commissioned study.
Of course, the former is the creator of the globally-popular software Windows and Microsoft Word and others; Intel, as you may remember, powers many of the computers across the world with its processors, chips, among other parts or products inside computers.
The two tech titans announced the new research the other day from Techaisle, a leading global small and medium business (SMB) market research analyst organization.
The study pointed out the opportunities available for SMBs in the region through an upgrade to modern devices at work.
In the survey of the 2,156 SMB organizations across APAC it was found out that by keeping a PC over four years old they spend US$2,736 (about Php148,000) per device.
The flip side of that is that the amount is enough to buy a replacement for the ageing device with two or more new PCs, the study indicates.
Computers older than four years old are also 2.7 times likely to undergo repairs. That translates to loss in productivity.
The study shows that 85 percent of larger SMBs, employing over 500 people still have PCs older than four years old.
In comparison, only 60 percent in smaller SMBs with less than 100 workers have the same old computers.
What this means the study shows is that the there is still widespread usage of older devices among the region’s SMBs.
Bradley Hopkinson, VP, Consumer and Devices Sales, Asia, Microsoft, noted the importance of PCs in majority of SMBs of APAC.
“PCs are the productive engines for most SMBs in the region, where organizations rely heavily on their devices for their day-to-day tasks. However, 7 in 10 SMBs surveyed have PCs that are older than four years old,” he said.
Hopkinson noted the number one IT challenge among today’s SMBs, which is budget constraints, suggesting that “business leaders should seek to adopt a device modernization strategy so that they can maintain costs, while safeguarding their organizations from newer digital risks.”
SMBs in APAC 98 percent of enterprises
Santosh Viswanathan, managing director, Sales and Marketing Group, APAC Japan Territory, Intel, shared his thoughts on the continued usage of ageing PCs.
“SMBs constitute 98 percent of enterprises in the Asia Pacific Region, and employ half of the workforce in the region yet many of them still have PCs older than four years old. We believe that by having them move to a modern PC powered by an Intel Core processor, they can unlock greater productivity for their business while reducing IT management time and costs,” he said.
The study’s respondents identified their top priorities, such as increasing profitability, business growth, and improving workforce productivity.
On the other hand, as the study highlighted, it showed that SMBs also give importance to IT and look at IT as an answer to address their business issues, with their top IT priorities that included investing in PCs, cloud solutions and security solutions.
Hurdles against newer devices
Anurag Agrawal, Techaisle CEO and analyst, broke down why SMBs should be migrating to latest devices at work.
“We found that the key barriers in migrating to a newer device were concerns of legacy applications not being able to work on a newer operating system, along with the lack of budgets. However, the benefits of adopting a modern device strategy outweighs the concerns.
“Too often, SMB owners focus on short-term costs and while in most cases this approach is absolutely valid, at times it can lead to situations that cost them more. The choice between maintaining older PCs and replacing them with newer PCs is one such area,” he said.
The Techaisle executive suggested that SMBs should re-evaluate their decision to hold on to their ageing PCs vis-a-vis the higher cost of maintaining older devices which in the end amounts to bigger total of expenditures on their budget as against buying new PCS powered by the latest technology.
“SMBs in the region should seriously consider making the shift to a newer PC in the immediate future,” Agrawal said.
Lessons from those who did
SMBs still reluctant to get rid of their older PCs may take some lessons from those who migrated to newer devices as the study showed.
- 69 percent felt that they were better able to secure and protect their business data on newer PCs;
- 65 percent agreed that it has helped reduce overall maintenance costs;
- 62 percent saw improved efficiencies due to newer experiences powered by cloud and mobility solutions; and
- 62 percent agreed that a newer PC has made their staff more productive.
Further revelation in the study showed that 42 percent of PCs being used by SMBs are still operating on older versions of Windows. It also pointed out that upgrading to a Windows 10 modern device will offer experiences that are more familiar, safe, secure, and productive.
There is also an upcoming Windows 10 October Update which gives users enhanced productivity that can help them make the most of their time across work, home and everywhere in between.
The latest update includes Your Phone app which allows users to access photos and texts on Windows 10 devices, the new To-Do app that helps manage, prioritize and complete tasks as well as enhancements across Outlook.com, Edge as well as Office apps. Additionally, users can expect general Windows security improvements, including support for biometrics login via Windows Hello for Business for Azure Active Directory.
Microsoft Philippines COO Christian Lim encourages SMBS to take the leap.
“Microsoft seeks to empower the Filipino workforce by providing the best tools that can enhance a balanced work and leisure life. We believe that in taking a step forward, business leaders must make the change now,” he encouraged SMBs. (EKU)