Microsoft Report: Cloud Security Brings More Benefits to SMB

Small and Mid-sized Businesses (SMBs) are taking the advantages of cloud and anticipate the use of cloud technologies will increase the security of their operations, according to new research from Microsoft.

The study, carried out by Comscore and commissioned by Microsoft’s Trustworthy Computing Division found SMBs are finding that move to cloud technology is simplifying the adoption and improving the overall security of their infrastructure.

The Microsoft study highlights a number of points which make the adoption of cloud facilities as a security booster for SMBs in terms of cloud services or products used.

The survey was conducted on SMBs having 100 and 250 PCs and some of those use cloud computing in the US, India, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia.

According to the study, 32 percent of US companies said that moving to the cloud has decreased security issues where an SMB can now focus on more important strategy for their business. Nearly 35 percent have found after migrating to the cloud, security has improved considerably than the security already in place.

After cloud migration, SMBs have reduced cost five times more than what they spend on managing security as a percentage of overall IT budget over the last three years. In addition, more than 35 percent respondents said their business is now more secure, 32 percent said they are not worried about the threat of cyber-attack and 34 percent revealed they have now more confident in their company’s regulatory compliance.

Among the important finding of all from the study was that over 52 percent SMBs said that cloud migration has provided them the platform to add new products and services to their existing product portfolio. Moreover, 42 percent of those respondents say cloud has actually helped them expand their business into a completely new market.

“The security benefits of the cloud are there to see,” said Adrienne Hall, general manager of Trustworthy Computing at Microsoft. “In addition to driving towards industry standards such as the Cloud Security Alliance’s (CSA) Security Trust and Assurance Registry (STAR), we must step up our efforts to help SMBs, and other much larger organizations, better understand the security benefits of the cloud so they can make informed decisions about the suitability of the cloud for their business.”

In contrast, of those SMBs not using the cloud, 38 percent said cost was still their major concerns, and 40 percent cited security as the key hurdle. Almost 67 percent said that clear industry standard policies and procedures for security would influence them more self-reliant about embracing the cloud.

The study illustrated one such mobile content delivery provider, SkyWire Media, reports positive results after cloud migration. The company introduced Microsoft’s cloud management service Windows Intune that help them into cost and time savings and better protection against cyber threats.

“By selecting Intune, we were able to take a unified approach to deploying software, removing unwarranted software, and creating a reliable communications platform,” said Thomas Castleberry, chief operating officer of SkyWire Media. “We were additionally able to repurpose the hardware (or eliminate it all together), and reassign an IT person to other internal development projects, decreasing the need to hire an additional staff member, and reducing our overall IT overhead while improving our ability to service our internal customers.”

Ryan Brock, Vice President of Worldwide SMB Cloud & Channels, AMI Partners, said “Any solution that helps SMBs’ bottom line has to be good for them and the economy. When it comes to security, the cloud offers SMBs a level of expertise, specialist resources and investment that they cannot hope to match. This translates into cost and time savings and better protection against cyber threats, which gives them the freedom to innovate and grow their business.”

Interestingly, a recent study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of BMC Software, concurs about the benefits of the cloud. The study revealed cloud technologies will benefit in cost reduction and simplification of IT process among SMBs.

One comment

  1. As a small
    business, although my budget is important, security in the cloud is of greater importance
    to me. I understand that the cloud is going to take time to get to where
    everyone understands the cloud and feels secure, and a step in the right
    direction is to implement some form of 2FA (two-factor authentication) where
    the user is asked to telesign into their account by entering a one-time PIN
    code which is delivered to your phone via SMS or voice. Or if you don’t want to
    do this every single time, some offer the option to designate your smartphone,
    PC, or tablet as a trusted device and they will allow you to enter without the
    text code. Should an attempt to login from an unrecognized device happen, it
    would not be allowed. For me, this gives me the confidence that my account
    won’t get hacked and my personal information isn’t up for grabs.

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