97% of SMBs say security positively impacted by cloud adoption

Over 95% of respondents in a comScore survey of French SMBs said cloud adoption had a positive impact on security, as well as noticing unexpected benefits, such as up-to-date systems and antivirus protection.

The study of French small to midsize businesses with between 25 and 499 PCs was conducted by comScore and commissioned by Microsoft Trustworthy Computing, although the respondents were made unaware of Microsoft’s involvement.

88% of those polled said they had noticed improved uptime as a result of the cloud, with the same number claiming they were “confident” that their CSP could get back up and running after an outage.

The report also looked at return on investment in the cloud, and came up with positive conclusions. Seven in 10 say that they had been able to “pursue new opportunities” – which could ostensibly mean anything – because of time saved in the cloud, whilst a whopping 87% said that money saved from cloud adoption had been reinvested in the likes of customer service (39%), product development (37%) and marketing (30%).

Unsurprisingly however the study doesn’t show adoption as peaches and cream, with a big barrier to adoption being the worry that talk of cloud security is all hot air. A third (32%) of respondents wanted proof of security benefits before they’d adopt, the report says.

Perhaps those companies should look at the FedRAMP government cloud security accreditation, with HP joining the list of organisations in being FedRAMP approved earlier this week.

“The SMB cloud study provides just the sort of information to challenge prior assumptions and helps cut through the clutter,” Adrienne Hall, general manager for Trustworthy Computing wrote in a blog post.

It’s certainly interesting how the vast majority of companies have seen security benefits, yet a third say they want to see proof before looking to commit.

But what do you think? Does this paper give peace of mind for cloud security? The full report can be found here.

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14 Jun 2013, 10:34 a.m.

The French survey is a good indicator, but Europe may look to European Commission’s Cloud Computing Strategy when it gets off the ground to provide guidance. The French government has the Andromede cloud initiative, Germany Trusted Cloud, UK G-Cloud - it is all fractured and each has self interest.

The bottom line: Outside of government initiatives, SMB's may not have the in house skills to asses the appropriate cloud/security, therefore it's an education process to the small "IT Team / CIO" in the SMB

>>>The larger problem facing the SMB audience is not the CSP, but the security controls the SMB deploys and what/if data it pushes around. The proposed, EU privacy law should be a BIG shake up and a wake up call for all even SMB's.

I think the driving force in the SMB space will be the CEO/CFO's, they are more likely to provoke questions to its internal IT team : "what risk are we exposed to in using the cloud" - but again the focus will not be so much on the CSP security controls, but what the SMB pushes/leaves in the CSP and controls around it.

Enterprise businesses are more likely to have silo skills: CSO,Architects,DevOps and are more likely drill down into the CSP security

The bottom like FedRAMP is good, but I would not exclude a CSP from a selection process if did not have it. Do look at the Cloud Security Alliance and it's register Cloud Control Matrix.


14 Jun 2013, 3:59 p.m.

Although the survey shows that most companies have experienced some security benefits (e.g. they benefit from spam filtering from the cloud), it doesn't find that respondents say that security overall has improved. Although I believe that for most companies the cloud is more secure than on-premise computing, it cannot be concluded from these survey results.


8 Jul 2013, 12:16 p.m.

As usual, for Microsoft, but for any business. Decisions done with "feeling" instead of "facts", because peoples taking decisions not technical competent about, too much often. So this study seems Microsoft don't care how secure the Cloud is providing the SMB, but how SMB is feeling more secure with.