Those in favor of cloud computing strongly argue that the cloud offers many benefits for businesses, large and small. However, skeptics argue that there are many data-security issues centering around cloud computing. They feel that such issues will be all the more critical for smaller companies which have to run on limited budgets and fewer resources. This belief however seems to have undergone changes as there are new reports which suggest that cloud computing is recommended for small businesses because it is boosting their security further.
How can small businesses benefit from security offered by cloud computing?
– Statistics reveal that small businesses which have adopted the cloud have witnessed a huge increase in their profits. They were able to get much higher returns on their investments. The truth is that smaller companies usually lack a very strong IT staff. This is why such security related duties typically fall on the owners. This makes it hard for the business owners to handle security concerns as they are already over burdened with regular administrative tasks. So, cloud computing offers businesses a great opportunity to outsource IT tasks to professionals in exchange for a nominal fee.
– Small business owners usually do not have access to high-end hardware; cloud vendors can offer them excellent maintenance for hardware and tech supports all the time through a scalable model. Nearly 78% of enterprises are expected to be turning to the cloud by the end of 2020. Data breaches are not likely to slow down because cyber criminals manage to find newer ways to access sensitive financial data all the time.
– Damages due to such unauthorized intrusions have huge impact on businesses and customers tend to lose their trust in businesses that have experienced data breaches in the past. The small business set-up is usually not built with security in mind, as compared to cloud technologies. A cloud hosting service provider’s entire infrastructure will be based upon securing customer trust and ensuring that sensitive data stays secure. This explains why the security is actually built into their system from scratch. Incidentally, there are even instances where the vendors will create environments to comply with regulations like HIPAA and PCI.
– Since small businesses must work on limited IT budgets, they usually make use of their own hardware and networking equipments. The main cash flow is directed towards enhancing business growth and recruiting employees, thereby building a brand image. The cloud vendor will need high-end hardware for core competencies and the budgets are therefore spent on acquiring these. This means that small businesses which embrace the cloud will enjoy better access to high-end software and hardware, and also advanced security measures which are available in the cloud.
– When small businesses get caught up with too much work handling huge workloads, the maintenance of hardware and support services is relegated to the background. Employees responsible for updating security systems often get busy with other tasks. Moreover, a small business is likely to have outdated software which may create vulnerabilities within the infrastructure. If they choose to sign up for cloud computing, they would get technical assistance, software updates on time and hardware maintenance of the highest degree from the professionals. This directly improves their security arrangements. So, cloud hosting actually offers far advanced security measures for smaller businesses than they could have arranged on their own. As business owners do not have to worry about data security issues they can focus better on business development.
– Earlier, many cloud service providers had failed to deal with security concerns. But, things have changed today and most vendors have actually made their cloud security arrangements quite appealing for small enterprises. Small businesses have also realized the value of choosing cloud hosting for enjoying lower IT costs, less maintenance expenses and improved productivity. Cyber crimes have been growing by the day, but not simply because of an increased cloud adoption rate by enterprises. There have been instances of attacks for which the cloud cannot be blamed, like DDoS attacks, cross-site scripting attacks, SQL injection attacks etc.
– When you have shifted your data and operations to the cloud, your security concerns should ideally come down because of the access to latest cutting edge cloud technologies. It is therefore necessary for both customers and providers to understand that security must be flexible; it should be made more automatic than manual, eliminating chances of human errors.
When you move your data to the cloud, the primary risk is that you do not get to know who gets to access the cloud. This is why you need to have consistent control; the management of resources and identities within the public cloud has to be in sync with the resource and identity management within an enterprise. At the same time, if you can move identity management to a public cloud, you can also lower costs of these services. Your job is to assess the degree of confidentiality you need your data to have and then plan for securing that level of security.