The benefits of cloud computing for small businesses (part 2)

In part 1 of this series, we discussed the many benefits that come with using cloud computing and what effects these have on small businesses in particular. Although the cloud has its advantages there are also potential risks involved, these risks are mainly centred on security, specifically data theft and hacking.

Hackers are becoming more sophisticated by the day and this needs to be reflected in the quality of security used by IT companies, including cloud providers. When outsourcing to the cloud, many businesses will be trusting sensitive information over a wireless network, including data on employees and customers. This can be disconcerting as an online intrusion event could lead to data loss or even data theft, something that could potentially compromise customers’ privacy. The good news is that most reputable cloud providers will have excellent security measures put in place to prevent hacking. Companies worrying about the safety of their data can also put some of their own measures in place to protect it, these can include better password protection, encryption of files and backing up data on a physical hard drive.

Another factor is cost, big businesses have the disposable income to invest in projects like cloud computing but smaller companies have to be more careful in how they spend. Cloud providers usually work with a tariff system, so companies pay monthly for a bundle of services. Monthly costs may seem high at first but this should be compared with how much it would be to buy software programs outright or even the price of specialised staff.

Although cloud computing may have its risks, these can nearly always be avoided and the potential gains from such an enterprise far outweigh the pitfalls. As long as businesses choose a good and well respected provider and set out exactly what they want to gain from this partnership, it is likely there will be no problems at all. Cloud computing is the future and smaller businesses need to embrace this if they wish to grow.

ITC Global Security can provide a sophisticated, live action network to protect against online security threats, including data theft.