Microsoft shows cloud computing security benefits

Small and midsize businesses (SMBs) are gaining significant IT security benefits from using the cloud, according to a new Microsoft study in five geographies.

The study shows that 35 percent of U.S. companies surveyed have experienced noticeably higher levels of security since moving to the cloud. In addition, 32 percent say they spend less time worrying about the threat of cyberattacks. U.S.

SMBs using the cloud also spend 32 percent less time each week managing security than companies not using the cloud. They are also five times more likely to have reduced what they spend on managing security as a percentage of overall IT budget.

“There’s a perception that security is a barrier to cloud adoption,” said Adrienne Hall, general manager, Microsoft Trustworthy Computing. “Yet when companies embrace and invest in cloud services, they find the benefits far outweigh previous concerns.”

Time and money spent managing security prior to using cloud services is being reinvested by SMBs to grow their businesses and be more competitive. The survey shows the following in the U.S.:

  • Of SMBs that use the cloud, 41 percent said they were able to employ more staff in roles that directly benefit sales or business growth, 39 percent invest in more product development or innovation, and 37 percent experienced improved agility and competitiveness.
  • More than half of those surveyed (52 percent) said using the cloud enabled them to add new products and services that benefit their business more quickly and securely.
  • Of those surveyed, 42 percent said the cloud made it easier for them to scale their business to explore new markets.

An example of a company that has realized the security benefits of the cloud is SkyWire Media, a small business in Nevada that helps other businesses personalize and distribute rich content to mobile devices. As a small business, it was a challenge for SkyWire to keep up to date with security management. After transitioning to Windows Intune, a cloud-based management and security solution, the company no longer faces the same problem.

By simplifying software distribution and streamlining the security upgrade process, Windows Intune helped SkyWire save $90,000 (U.S.) in IT costs over a span of six months, a savings of $15,000 (U.S.) per month. By retiring third-party antivirus and antimalware tools, the company was able to redeploy the cost of overseeing these processes.

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