Study: Growing use of the cloud a major concern for SMBs

June 13, 2012

Concern over how to secure cloud computing is becoming major issue for SMBs, according to a study from a computer security company. The growth of cloud and mobile technologies is a primary concern for IT managers and directors, with just 21 percent being very confident in their security measures.

Cloud security was the top issue for SMBs in the study, with 44 percent of respondents naming it a major challenge to network security. Mobile devices - which often operate on a cloud platform - came in just behind, with 39 percent naming it a concern. Cybersecurity from more sophisticated threats was tied in with mobility concerns in the study's second spot.

Mobile and the cloud
Remote working is becoming a reality, especially for SMBs, who are integrating policies for mobility 93 percent of the time. Because of this, 52 percent of SMBs expect to improve security precautions to meet the tougher demands of mobile technology. The total number of companies responding to the changing technology landscape with changing protective measures is even greater, with 70 percent of companies using some of their IT budget to invest in security.

"Companies are reevaluating how they tackle IT security," the CTO for the company conducting the survey said. "A fragmented approach is consistently leaving networks vulnerable to attack, as new technologies such as cloud, and new devices such as mobile, require more advanced security architectures."

SMB security spending
As the need for an emphasis on security rises, the cost of protection for a small business is undergoing greater growth than any other facet of IT spending. According to a study by the International Data corporation, SMB spending on security technology will exceed $5.6 billion by 2015. Overall IT spending will increase as well, at a rate of 5 to 6 percent per year, but the amount going toward security will grow twice as fast in the same period.

"SMBs are more focused on security as a way to gain access to more capabilities, but less focused on security as a cost to be reduced once minimum standards are met," the vice president for SMB market research at IDC, Ray Boggs, said.

Nearly every aspect of security spending is on the rise, according to IDC projections. Cloud and mobile technology are changing the way that security solutions are implemented, leading toward double-digit growth for security software-as-a-service.

-McAfee Cloud Security