Cloud Security Stinks? SMB Find Just the Opposite

By Doug Barney

You’ve heard all the grousing. “How can I trust my data to a cloud provider I don’t even know?” or “All they care about is money, they could give a hoot about protecting my assets!”

I’ve covered the cloud since its inception and at first I went along with sour sentiments. But the more cloud vendors I met with, the more I was convinced that it was their business to truly secure the infrastructure they sell. They have full security staffs, and can do defense in-depth.

Then I thought about how most IT shops are staffed. Few have dedicated security pros, and most fight turnover and tight budgets.

Now surveys are starting to say what I’ve been saying. Most recent case in point is a Microsoft survey which first reflected the same old grousing.

SMBs that haven’t moved to the cloud cite security as the biggest concern. In fact, 64 percent of those surveyed worry about cloud security and 45 percent fret that they will lose control over their data. Meanwhile, 42 percent don’t trust the cloud for reliability (they apparently weren’t asked if they trusted Windows to not have blue screens of death).

Talk to organizations that made the cloud move and you get the opposite result. That’s what Microsoft did, and its result say that SMBs that use the cloud find a lift in privacy, reliability and security.

Of those that used the cloud, 94 percnet found improved security through more current anti-virus and spam controls, and in general having more up-to-date systems. Also, 65 percent of cloud users see better reliability and 62 percent experience a heightened level of privacy.

“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, in a statement. “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.”

Microsoft’s Hall

Microsoft paraded out a Microsoft Office 365 customer to prove its point.

“In the financial services industry, security and compliance are a critical table stake. Microsoft Office 365 gives us peace of mind that these things are being handled, and handled well. So much so that we’ve been able to reposition resources to reinvest in our business,” said Matt McCombs, president and chief operating officer, DHCU Community Credit Union. “Quite simply, the move to the cloud saved us money and freed up time to help us focus on what matters most — serving our members.”

Edited by Jamie Epstein

MSPToday Editor at Large

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