One of the technologies that has become most important to the efficiency, growth and competitiveness strategies of SMBs is cloud computing. Adoption of the cloud is widespread in small businesses and approaching 100% in advanced midmarket organizations. In the SMB world, though, concern about cloud security is nearly as ubiquitous as the cloud itself. Nearly half of SMBs surveyed by Techaisle worry about data exposure during transfers to and from the cloud, 45% are worried about hijacking of user accounts, 37% worry about unauthorized access to cloud-resident data or a data breach, and more than a third are concerned with insecure interfaces and/or malicious insiders.

A look at the issue of data breaches demonstrates why SMBs are so concerned with security in the cloud. SMB management worries that in the event of a breach, “customer privacy, our company’s reputation, our bottom line and our compliance with laws and regulations would be substantially damaged.” Cloud may offer an avenue to improved agility and top and bottom-line growth, but these security concerns are real and demand effective management.

MANAGING RISK: PLOTTING YOUR PATH FORWARD

Cloud computing isn’t simply, or chiefly, a source of risk for SMBs. Techaisle research has found that SMBs are pursuing cloud strategies to meet a variety of business goals: increased collaboration and agility, productivity, accelerated cycle time for new product and services introductions and cost reduction sit atop a long list of compelling benefits.

It’s clear, though, that the cloud and other advanced solutions increase complexity—and for SMBs, complexity results in increased uncertainty and risk, including IT security risk. The impact of a security breach for 44% of small businesses means their customer’s privacy gets substantially damaged. 38% of SMBs report that their customers’ trust in their organization would be significantly damaged.

It’s no wonder that small and mid-sized organizations sometimes feel overwhelmed by the challenges of security across their business operations, and especially, in the cloud. However, while the issues are real, there are actions that SMBs can take to unlock the cloud’s benefits by managing risk. Techaisle’s SMB security adoption research shows that SMBs are protecting information, corporate systems and users by encrypting data and networks. They are deploying intrusion detection and prevention solutions and access control technologies to guard against intruders.

They are using internal data boundaries and setting (and enforcing) security policies to develop management responses to issues before they represent threats to customers or business viability.

SMBs aren’t simply relying on “security through obscurity”—hoping that attackers will overlook them and choose a different target. SMBs are taking action to safeguard their increasingly IT-dependent businesses against the cloud and other digital threats. Every day, SMBs are investing in the technologies and skills needed to move forward in the digital economy.

Taken with permission from Fortinet whitepaper, Securing Your SMBs In a World of Digital Transition. Read the whole whitepaper here.

Deerwood Technologies can help you get the most from a secure cloud. Contact us for an assessment.