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Study shows SMB cloud security fears largely overstated

Cost and security assumptions questioned

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Research into small businesses in the US and Asian markets has shown that there's an increasing mismatch between the theory and practice of cloud security.

When questioned in a blind test conducted by comScore and funded by Microsoft, a third of SMBs said they didn’t use cloud security because of fears over the cost of transition, and 40 per cent steered clear because they were worried that they would encounter more security problems than if they managed their own affairs.

In fact, the data showed that SMBs who went the cloud security route were six times more likely to have cut security spending by moving to a cloud model, although it should be pointed out that this represented only 20 per cent of those companies polled – showing that for most of us, security spending will carry on rising regardless.

"It's an interesting dichotomy between people that have the perceived barriers to cloud adoptions in security and privacy and those that actually have taken the plunge and used the cloud," Tim Rains, director of trustworthy computing at Microsoft, told The Register.

Running costs were also reduced by a cloud move – with cloud security users saying they spent 19 hours a week managing security compared to 25 hours for non-cloud IT administrators. That's one full BOFH day – once an extended lunch break and important offsite meeting at a local watering hole is taken into account.

The survey found that Asian users saved more IT management time than their American counterparts after a move to cloud security, but saved a smaller percentage of their overall security spending. Rains suggested this could be because security spending as a total of the whole IT budget is traditionally smaller in Asia. ®

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