How Secure is Your Company Data?
Business has been changing over the past ten years and has increasingly become focused on internet-driven software and on-demand services such as accounting and client management packages. Many businesses are already embracing cloud in one form or another but are yet to take the next step and cloud-enable the entire business.
No business, whether large or small, can afford to ignore security. Threats such as distributed denial-of-service (DDOS), malware, or phishing can severely rock the stability of a business, and in some cases can cause businesses such severe issues that they cannot bounce back.
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) highlights that small firms are collectively attacked 7 million times per year, costing each business almost £3000.
Smaller businesses have time and cost efficiencies to maintain, so often are the most exposed to threats. Placing data in a secure, insured environment is a vital part of maintaining the integrity of a business’ core infrastructure. Security should never be downplayed. It is a common misconception that having data stored on premise and on your own servers is the best form of protection. A high proportion of cyber-related loss suffered by UK SMEs comes from within. For example, when employees deliberately or unintentionally misuse data or invite viruses into the system via email, attachments or downloads. The greatest form of defence you can deploy with cloud is a combination of monitored access rights, diligent data storage and insurance, and strong governance by third parties.
The real risk comes when organisations blindly park data, thinking that security is just implicit. Unless the data is protected with encryption, firewalls, access lists and so on, organisations remain vulnerable to attack.
As technology use accelerates in daily life, business owners need to be involved in IT management from the outset. Improving performance, reducing costs, enabling flexible responses and driving scalability are all driving business owners to adopt cloud. These are the primary impacts of success of failure of a business – an owner’s ability to pass the competition or fall behind. These are not abstract drivers that will drop off the map tomorrow. These are here to stay.
Cloud can achieve benefits exceeding on premise investment, if chosen correctly. Cloud-based IT systems rely on an OPEX model, meaning that it will cost a contracted monthly fee to maintain and update. On-premise systems, on the other hand, usually comes with a high upfront cost to buy the software license, train employees, and any overhead caused by the implementation process. If resources are limited, or a business is in the early stages of growth, cloud offers a cost-efficient solution to an otherwise expensive problem.
Ultimately, the cost of going for the wrong type of cloud will override the benefits. It is vital that the cloud chosen for a business suits the organizational structure and is compatible with the current IT infrastructure, which is why a custom cloud solution is most appropriate. Smaller businesses are finding that migrating to cloud can mitigate the costly exercise of streamlining in-house IT, and can achieve better results without having to increase development costs.
Adoption of business cloud may provide the tools needed to increase an SME’s competitive advantage. The cloud is here, and it’s here to stay.The cost saving, flexibility, and security alone mean that cloud is a force to be reckoned with.