Small and midsize companies in the cloud reap security, privacy and reliability benefits

     Small and midsize companies in the cloud reap security, privacy and
                             reliability benefits

Microsoft study shows 94 percent of small and midsize companies gain security
advantages - contradicting perceptions that hold others back from adoption.

PR Newswire

REDMOND, Wash., June 11, 2013

REDMOND, Wash., June 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --A study released today reveals
that,  in addition to time and cost savings, small and midsize businesses
(SMBs) in the U.S. that use a cloud service gain significant security, privacy
and reliability advantages compared with companies that have not adopted the
cloud. The study, commissioned by Microsoft Corp., shows that perceptions of
the cloud held by nonusers directly contrast with the real experiences of
cloud adopters.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20000822/MSFTLOGO)

"There's a big gap between perception and reality when it comes to the cloud.
SMBs that have adopted cloud services found security, privacy and reliability
advantages to an extent they didn't expect," said Adrienne Hall, general
manager, Trustworthy Computing, Microsoft. "The real silver lining in cloud
computing is that it enables companies not only to invest more time and money
into growing their business, but to better secure their data and to do so with
greater degrees of service reliability as well."

The Microsoft study, which did not qualify participants by product, service or
vendor, asked SMBs that have not adopted the cloud what was holding them back:

  oSixty percent cited concerns around data security.
  oForty-five percent worried that using the cloud would result in a lack of
    control over their data.
  oForty-two percent doubted the reliability of the cloud.

In stark contrast, the study found that the experiences of SMBs that use cloud
services contradict these concerns:

  oNinety-four percent have gained security benefits they did not have with
    their former on-premises technology, such as up-to-date systems,
    up-to-date antivirus and spam email management.
  oSixty-two percent have seen increased levels of privacy protection.
  oSeventy-five percent have experienced improved service availability.

Seventy percent of SMBs in the study said that adopting a cloud service meant
they could invest money and time savings into areas such as product
development and innovation, demand creation, and expansion into new markets.
Half of SMBs have pursued new opportunities because of the time they saved
managing security.

An example of a business that has realized the security and compliance
benefits of the cloud is DHCU Community Credit Union, a nonprofit financial
cooperative. To meet the compliance requirements and security expectations of
a financial institution, the organization recently moved to Microsoft Office
365.

Since its transition, DHCU Community Credit Union has experienced improved
security and increased productivity, while enabling the organization to
maintain its tradition of delivering excellent customer service.

"In the financial services industry, security and compliance are a critical
table stake. Microsoft Office 365 gives us peace of mind that these things are
being handled, and handled well. So much so that we've been able to reposition
resources to reinvest in our business," said Matt McCombs, president and chief
operating officer, DHCU Community Credit Union. "Quite simply, the move to the
cloud saved us money and freed up time to help us focus on what matters most —
serving our members."

In conjunction with the study, Microsoft has released an updated version of
the Cloud Security Readiness Tool (CSRT). Based on the Cloud Security
Alliance's Cloud Controls Matrix, the CSRT is no-cost, interactive and easy to
use. It enables organizations to assess the current state of the security of
their IT environment and compare it to what they could expect if they used a
cloud service. The updated release extends the range of industry standards
covered by the tool to include European Network and Information Security
Agency Information Assurance Framework (ENISA IAF) and British Standards
Institution (BSI).

"Organizations are keen to understand how cloud adoption would compare with
their existing on-premises policies, procedures and compliance, and that can
be a complex task,"  said John Howie, chief operating officer, Cloud Security
Alliance. "In the Cloud Security Alliance, industry leaders have collaborated
to develop best practice security guidance. Microsoft's Cloud Security
Readiness Tool builds on these efforts as it gives organizations a way to more
easily evaluate cloud services against critical areas, as well as against
compliance with key industry standards like ENISA IAF and BSI."

About the study
The vendor-agnostic study, commissioned by Microsoft and conducted by
independent research company comScore Inc., polled companies with between 25
and 499 PCs in France, Germany, the U.K. and the U.S. Cloud users were defined
as companies using a subscription model service for data storage, email or
calendar, online productivity, customer relationship management, database
service, application hosting or management to manage and help secure
computers, for enterprise resource planning, and/or compute capacity to run
application code.

More information can be found at the Microsoft Security Newsroom:
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/presskits/security.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in
software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their
full potential.

SOURCE Microsoft Corp.

Website: http://www.microsoft.com
Contact: Rapid Response Team, Waggener Edstrom Worldwide, (503) 443-7070,
rrt@waggeneredstrom.com
 
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