Security concerns hold small businesses back from cloud adoption


There’s little doubt that the cloud offers promise for small and midsize organizations, but many are reluctant to go all-in. The biggest reason: security fears. 

That’s according to a study by software company Netwrix, which found 60% of small businesses fear security and data loss in the cloud. Other fears, according to the 2015 Cloud Security Survey, included:

  • loss of control over data (36%)
  • dependency on an Internet connection (30%)
  • disaster recovery and business continuity (25%), and
  • migration costs (19%).

That said, these concerns weren’t dealbreakers for most organizations. Most were involved in the cloud in some way. But it may be slowing the organizations.

The study found that many small organizations were still evaluating their options with the cloud. The current level of cloud adoption was:

  • discovery and evaluation (32%)
  • initial implementation (29%)
  • running trials or pilot programs (22%), and
  • broad implementation (17%).

For most (45%) the current involvement mostly entailed Software as a Service (SaaS), also known as cloud apps. This is usually the first step organizations take with the cloud.

And it makes sense, especially with security concerns that this would be the first area for cloud penetration considering it has the least association with common security fears.

Other areas on the cloud agenda for the future in small businesses:

  • email (49%)
  • web servers and websites (42%)
  • disaster recovery (42%), and
  • file sharing (37%).

And most organizations do feel the need for increased cloud coverage. Most said that once data migration was cheaper or security mechanisms were in place, their opinions on the matter would change.


Clearly, there’s a hesitancy for the smallest organizations to trust all their data to a third-party. At the same time, the benefits of the cloud may be too good to pass up for long.

For those on the fence, some things to consider:

  • Start early. Waiting for security to catch up to technology may be wise for some companies and organizations. But waiting for the security to be robust enough doesn’t mean that companies shouldn’t prepare in other ways.
    Start mapping out which services and programs may someday be moved to the cloud and prioritizing them before you commit to moving to the cloud could provide the ability to act on projects quickly, but on your own schedule.
  • Set audit procedures. The cloud is only as secure as your internal policies allow it to be. Make sure to have audit procedures in place to be sure your data remains safe.
  • Consider security measures. Knowing which areas you’ll need to strengthen before getting further involved in the cloud is essential. According to the survey, IT pros were looking to beef up security with identity and authentication management (55%) and encryption (51%) first and foremost.

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