SMBs in the cloud reap security, privacy and reliability benefits

By : |June 17, 2013 0

REDMOND, USA: A study released recently reveals that, in addition to time and cost savings, small and midsize businesses (SMBs) in the U.S. that use a cloud service gain significant security, privacy and reliability advantages compared with companies that have not adopted the cloud.

The study, commissioned by Microsoft Corp., shows that perceptions of the cloud held by nonusers directly contrast with the real experiences of cloud adopters.

“There’s a big gap between perception and reality when it comes to the cloud. SMBs that have adopted cloud services found security, privacy and reliability advantages to an extent they didn’t expect,” said Adrienne Hall, general manager, Trustworthy Computing, Microsoft.

                                 

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“The real silver lining in cloud computing is that it enables companies not only to invest more time and money into growing their business, but to better secure their data and to do so with greater degrees of service reliability as well,” added Hall.

The Microsoft study, which did not qualify participants by product, service or vendor, asked SMBs that have not adopted the cloud what was holding them back:

– Sixty percent cited concerns around data security.
– Forty-five percent worried that using the cloud would result in a lack of control over their data.
– Forty-two percent doubted the reliability of the cloud.

In stark contrast, the study found that the experiences of SMBs that use cloud services contradict these concerns:

– Ninety-four percent have gained security benefits they did not have with their former on-premises technology, such as up-to-date systems, up-to-date antivirus and spam email management.
– Sixty-two percent have seen increased levels of privacy protection.
– Seventy-five percent have experienced improved service availability.

Seventy percent of SMBs in the study said that adopting a cloud service meant they could invest money and time savings into areas such as product development and innovation, demand creation, and expansion into new markets. Half of SMBs have pursued new opportunities because of the time they saved managing security.

In conjunction with the study, Microsoft also announced an updated version of the Cloud Security Readiness Tool (CSRT).

Based on the Cloud Security Alliance’s Cloud Controls Matrix, the CSRT is no-cost, interactive and easy to use, said Microsoft and further added thay it enables organizations to assess the current state of the security of their IT environment and compare it to what they could expect if they used a cloud service.

The updated release extends the range of industry standards covered by the tool to include European Network and Information Security Agency Information Assurance Framework (ENISA IAF) and British Standards Institution (BSI), said Microsoft.

“Organizations are keen to understand how cloud adoption would compare with their existing on-premises policies, procedures and compliance, and that can be a complex task,” said John Howie, chief operating officer, Cloud Security Alliance.

“In the Cloud Security Alliance, industry leaders have collaborated to develop best practice security guidance. Microsoft’s Cloud Security Readiness Tool builds on these efforts as it gives organizations a way to more easily evaluate cloud services against critical areas, as well as against compliance with key industry standards like ENISA IAF and BSI.”

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