A recent article in Computer Weekly has revealed that, a large proportion of SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) see technological vulnerabilities as one of the top concerns for their business and yet are still not addressing it. This is up 12% from January 2013, indicating that as more new technology becomes available to help SMEs, there is an increasing awareness in the business community regarding the best way to ensure the continued security of key data.
In fact, the threat of data loss and privacy breaches was the number one technology concern for 36% of SMEs, overtaking that of local network failure in the last quarter. This is perhaps indicative of the shifting technological landscape that SMEs operate within, with more businesses than ever adopting Cloud-based technology and mobile working solutions to increase productivity and streamline the way they manage valuable data.
Cloud technology allows businesses to store large amounts of data which can be accessed instantly by employees anywhere in the world, on any device. This allows a revolutionary degree of flexibility and gives SMEs the potential to compete and/or collaborate with businesses on a global scale. However, the move from local networks which store the majority of a business's sensitive data to a pure Cloud system that is accessed through and stored on the internet requires a very different data security model. Data is primarily protected by the security measures enforced by those hosting your Cloud system, requiring a degree of trust to be placed in the reliability and strength of a third partyâ€™s firewalls and secure hosting facilities.
In reality, Cloud security is excellent, particularly when SMEs use IT experts to install and help run their Cloud systems. Cloud applications like Office 365 have rigorous and frequently updated security measures to ensure the continued protection of your data. Office 365's most recent quarterly worldwide uptime is at 99.96%, a good demonstration of the reliability and safety of the Cloud for SMEs.
Still, the feeling that your data could be lost or hacked whilst stored in the Cloud is one felt acutely by SMEs, for whom data loss can mean the end of their business. We understand that some data can be too sensitive to be stored in the Cloud and there are still some applications that are not Cloud ready. Â This is why we often use a hybrid system, which keeps some of the data in the Cloud and keeps selected data on secure local servers, for absolute peace of mind. Crucially, it is the hybrid nature of this system that allows us to provide companies with the perfect balance of security, affordability and innovation.