October 2, 2020 Last updated October 18th, 2021 1,029 Reads share

Is Cloud Computing Safe for SMBs?

Image Credit: DepositPhotos

More than 60% of SMBs are still worried that their data isn’t safe in the cloud.

Cloud computing has changed business. The days of organizations having large rooms of servers for data storage are slowly disappearing. Now, many large enterprises are turning to the cloud as a secure way to store data and share data with those who need to have access to it.

Even small businesses are benefiting from cloud computing. Small businesses that previously adapted cloud computing may have found the transition to having their employees work from home easier than businesses that did not make this change.

However, as with all new technologies, there is a bit of reluctance by some to fully embrace the technology. Many small businesses feel worried that their data is not safe in the cloud. That being said, there are legitimate reasons small businesses that are not using cloud storage should do so.

Is Cloud Computing Safe?

Cloud computing and cloud storage options are secured using technologies and policies similar to those found in other IT environments. The difference is that the protocols followed in cloud computing have been designed to work in agile environments. These policies are certified by independent third-party auditors. Third-party auditors give customers the certainty that their cloud provider is using internal processes and has the capability for managing data securely.

Many would argue that cloud computing is more secure than conventionally stored data. Therefore, many cloud providers have been certified to show that they comply with HIPAA and HITECH regulations. Companies that store or transfer payment data, including credit card numbers, are routinely audited for PCI compliance. Cloud providers that have gone through this auditing and certification process have proven that they have the capacity and the protocols in place to securely protect even the most sensitive business data.

Reasons Why Small Businesses Should Consider Migrating To the Cloud

Lower Costs

A significant benefit that small businesses receive by moving their daily business activity and information to the cloud is that they can receive notable savings. Small businesses that do not store information on a local server do not have the expense that comes from purchasing, maintaining, and powering servers. They have more space to use for business operations.

They do not need to hire as many IT professionals because the maintenance of the cloud server is handled by the service provider. For small businesses, the savings are invaluable.

Improved Collaboration

The cloud makes collaboration easier. The fact that a small business can save and access different files through the cloud makes it easy for several employees to collaborate on one document. Users can upload, edit, and comment on documents, invoices, and spreadsheets. This improves collaboration in the workplace.

Cloud services give small businesses the ability to determine what information employees can or cannot access. Cloud-storage makes it possible for business owners and managers to monitor individual progress on assignments. And now that a good portion of the workforce is working from home, cloud storage makes it possible for businesses to offer the same level of service they have always offered without having their employees in the same physical space.

Flexibility

Small businesses have quickly realized that their greatest asset is their flexibility. The more flexible a business is, the better they can adapt to sudden changes. Small businesses that reacted quickly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic have been able to keep customers, provide consistent service, and sometimes grow their market share. Cloud storage and cloud computing have been an important factor in this change, especially with tools such as cloud-based payment solutions.

Besides making it easier for employees to work from home, cloud computing makes it possible for business owners to manage their business at any time from anywhere on the planet. Employees can use devices they own and are comfortable with. This saves employers money in both equipment and the time needed to train new employees on how to use specific equipment.

Greater Integration

Cloud computing has given small businesses the ability to integrate with several cloud-based providers. There are many specialized services that allow human resources, accounting departments, marketing departments, and other back-office operations to run smoothly. Integration thanks to cloud computing makes it possible for small business owners to dedicate their energy to more important aspects of their business.

Keeping Your Data Secure on the Cloud

Small businesses that have sensitive data on the cloud need to keep that sensitive data safe. Much of it boils down to properly training employees.

It is rare for security breaches to be caused because a cloud provider does not offer the proper protection. Data breaches are usually caused by humans.

Employees may have their login credentials lost or stolen. Disgruntled employees who have not been deprovisioned and still have access to sensitive information cause breaches. Insecure Wi-Fi connections and mishaps caused by well-meaning but poorly trained employees can put their cloud data at risk.

A small business can improve cloud security by employing multi-factor authentication. The traditional combination of username and password is not enough to protect users’ accounts from hackers or stolen credentials. If an employee’s credentials are stolen, they can log into cloud-based applications. Multi-factor authentication also referred to as two-factor authentication, is a good way to ensure that only people with the right authorization can log into your cloud apps and access your data. As a matter of fact, it’s such a good way to stop your data from being stolen, that it became a must-have for every enterprise credential manager tool.

Real-time analysis and monitoring of user activity make it possible for small businesses to identify irregularities in user patterns. An example is an employee logging in from an unknown IP address. If an employee logs in from Houston in the morning and then an hour later is logging in from South Africa, this abnormal activity could indicate a breach of the system. Monitoring and analyzing user activity can identify security issues before they cause a lot of mayhem.

Cloud computing is a more cost-effective option. If small businesses take the right precautions, it is definitely more secure. By following industry best practices when installing, selecting, managing, and provisioning cloud services, a small business can get the most from their cloud computing.

DepositPhotos – cloud storage

Kate Noether

Kate Noether

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