Security concerns are a key barrier to remote working in small UK companies, with just 16 per cent offering this to staff compared with 23 per cent of those in the US, according to an international study.

The survey, carried out by Vanson Bourne on behalf of Sophos, probed respondents about the challenges of securing remote sites. Various issues emerged, with troubleshooting problems identified by 46 per cent of UK respondents, which is roughly similar to the US.

The difference between the two countries cannot be explained in terms of confidence in wireless services: around one in four respondents in both countries described their connectivity as excellent, while slightly more in the UK are confident their wireless network is secure.

However, when quizzed further about network security 57 per cent of IT decision makers in UK companies said they are concerned about managing devices, compared to just 39 per cent overall.

Of all countries surveyed, the UK is under the greatest pressure to do more with less: US companies are most likely to see an increase in their IT security budgets, while those in the UK are least likely. Some 10 per cent of UK companies will actually see reductions in their IT security budget.

However, when asked about the most important factor when choosing a network security solution, UK respondents bucked the international trend by placing ease of use above total cost of ownership.

The study surveyed 571 IT decision makers from the US, UK, France, Germany and Australia.