Facing reality – how SMBs can use cloud to overcome their IT security nightmares
Kirill Slavin, Managing Director, UK & Ireland, Kaspersky Lab
The most dangerous IT security myth faced by SMBs is that ‘it will never happen to us’. Hard facts from the UK’s Government Security Breaches Survey prove the opposite, with 74 per cent of small business struggling every year with the consequences of a security incident. Having fewer resources, these businesses are an attractive goal for cyber criminals, making IT security risk mitigation a huge challenge.
Growing IT complexity and maintenance costs mean that the average IT security budget for SMBs is growing, with 42 per cent of SMBs seeing complexity of IT infrastructure as the main reason.
In addition, today’s threat landscape, with its rapid expansion of ransomware, POS exploits and DDoS attacks, is forcing businesses to protect themselves by buying more software and expanding their IT teams. It is critical to remain protected as the cost of a data breach could range from minor inconvenience, loss of customer data and reputation damage, to fines, and ultimately company closure.
The constant pressure on budgets during an economic downturn means that SMBs attempting to achieve an advanced level of business data protection, while avoiding additional costs, are starting to embrace a new model of IT security management – cloud infrastructure.
SaaS Economy: From Myth to Reality
Facing limited resources and often juggling with multiple legacy IT systems, SMB IT specialists yearn for simplicity, ease of management and reduced costs. Small businesses which have suffered from a cyberattack often admit that a breach could have been prevented by adopting basic rules. Cloud security makes these basics possible, also bringing with it a centralised way of deploying programs, updates and policy management, allowing businesses to easily meet the minimal standards of IT security. Adopting cloud security, SMEs are able to guarantee that customers’ data is safe, with advanced protection developed by those who set industry standards.
Top Tips for making the move to cloud
Tip #1: Avoid hidden costs – As we know, what is not measured cannot be managed or improved, so evaluating the total cost of IT ownership is essential. Cloud adoption can solve the problem of calculating ROI, by providing IT teams, and indeed business leaders, with accurate cost and value management. The cloud model also provides scalability, making it possible to pay for the number of nodes actually used. This is ideal for an SME where vacations, the use of freelancers, or a drop in employee numbers can mean that license needs shift from month to month.
Tip #2: Eliminate complex education – Technology should be an enabler, not an obstacle. According to Forrester, global tech spending will increase to over £2.2 trillion by the end of 2016, and a sizeable chunk of this comes from certification and education costs. Large enterprises need to invest in complex IT certifications, but for smaller companies, using a cloud solution to educate teams on IT infrastructures is ideal.
Tip #3: Reduce the time spent managing IT security – Backing up customer data flows, protecting financial operations with additional security and dealing with mobile data management all takes time, which is limited in an SMB organisation. Quick roll-out and on-demand resources are embedded into the DNA of cloud IT security which allows SME IT teams to save their time and focus on more important business priorities.
Saving resources to enable strategic investment
Whether companies are struggling with limited resources, consuming maintenance, incompatible systems or the hardware costs synonymous with all on-premises products, cloud security solutions available on subscription, such as Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Cloud, enable businesses with advanced technologies that fully meet their needs. With the security as a service model, SMEs can improve bottom line costs, transparency and accountability, key attributes to business success.