Architecture, Network security, Policy, Compliance

Pros of managing security in cloud make it attractive

May 16, 2012

Small to midsize businesses (SMBs) looking to allocate morefunds toward areas that directly affect their growth should be looking to the cloud, a new study from Microsoft reveals.

A survey conducted among groups of SMBs that have migratedto the cloud, and others who have not yet made the transition, affirms that adopting the strategy lowerscosts relating to security management, allowing enterprises to build on areas that benefit business development.

The research was funded by Microsoft's Trustworthy ComputingGroup, although participants were not notified of its involvement.

Of the companies surveyed, more than half were able to addproducts and services to their business faster and safer after their move tothe cloud, a result of having to invest less in security management.  

Forty-one percent of respondents said they wereable to employ a larger team in areas that have a direct impact on businessgrowth, while 39 percent invested more resources into product development and 37percent believed a cloud implementation increased their competitiveness.

One notable statistic in the report is that 34 percent ofSMBs adopted the cloud because of increased confidence in “their company'sregulatory compliance,” Tim Rains, director at Microsoft's TrustworthyComputing Group, said in an email to SCMagazine.com.

“Compliance is something many businesses need to get right,and those that move to the cloud say they see these compliance-relatedbenefits,” he said.

Although the findings indicate the business advantages,out of the companies that still have yet to make the switch, 67 percent saidthat their concerns lie with a lack of accepted security standards.

The Cloud Security Alliance, a nonprofit focused onpromoting safe practices for cloud computing, has already launched aninitiative to promote transparency – the Security Trust and Assurance Registry – which businesses can access while theindustry works on emerging standards, Rains said.

While there are concerns remain, Ryan Brock,vice president of worldwide SMB cloud and channels at Access Markets International (AMI) Partners, a New York-based security solutions company, said a majorityof companies will ultimately make the move.

“The bottom line is part of the equation, but equally important to SMBs is theability to use it effectively for business processes and to compete, and alsoto lessen the IT management burden,” Brock said in an email to SCMagazine.com.
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