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Security Issues Moving SMEs To The Cloud Assignment Sample

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SECURITY ISSUES MOVING SMES TO THE CLOUD

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Abstract: Distributed computing has turned into a generally acknowledged and favored choice for little and SMEs because of its expense reserve funds, efficiency upgrades, and security benefits. SMBs are always looking for new ways to improve their cloud technology and address security issues. This article investigates the main five patterns and headways in cloud innovation that SMEs can use to fortify their cloud security act. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), edge computing, containerization, and serverless architecture are among these trends.

The advantages of each trend and the ways in which they can benefit SMEs are highlighted in detail. Due to its advantages in terms of security, cost savings, and increased productivity, cloud computing has gained widespread acceptance among SMEs. Man-made intelligence and ML are turning out to be progressively famous among SMEs because of their expense reserve funds, efficiency improvements, and capacity to go with better business choices.

Key Points: Cloud, machine learning, Artificial Intelligence, SMEs, Security

1. Introduction

Security issues are a significant barrier for SMEs to adopt cloud computing since many do not have the means or experience to put in place effective security measures. To safeguard the data and infrastructure of its clients, cloud service providers (CSPs) provide a variety of security features and services, including data encryption, firewalls, and multi-factor authentication.

But SMEs must also take action to guarantee the security of their data and cloud-based applications. Data breaches are one of the biggest security issues SMEs face when using the cloud. Due to the vulnerability of cloud environments to cyber assaults, sensitive data, intellectual property, and financial information may be lost or stolen in the event of a successful breach. For the purpose of preventing data loss and reducing the effects of a breach, SMEs must make sure that their data is encrypted and frequently backed up. Compliance is a security problem that SMEs using the cloud must also deal with. The processing and storage of data are governed by stringent laws in several sectors, including e-commerce, finance, and healthcare.

2. Trends and Advancements with Cloud Technology

The security issues for SMEs going to the cloud are being addressed by new trends and breakthroughs in cloud technology, which is always changing. The utilization of multi-cloud systems, which involve leveraging numerous cloud providers to diversify workloads and lower the risk of a single point of failure, is one of the most important trends. The adoption of edge computing, which involves processing data at the network's edge, nearer to the data source, in order to decrease latency and enhance security, is another trend. Machine learning, artificial intelligence, and encryption advancements are also assisting SMEs in strengthening their cloud security posture and defending their infrastructure and data from online threats.

2.1 Cloud Computing

The data show how valuable cloud computing is for organizations and highlight its many advantages. By 2020, 83% of enterprise workloads, as predicted by a Forbes article, will be stored on the cloud, demonstrating the widespread acceptance of cloud computing. According to a LogicMonitor survey, organizations can cut their IT expenses by an average of 14% by using the cloud, demonstrating the huge cost advantages that cloud computing offers [2]. According to Harvard Business Review research, 87% of organizations say that using the cloud has helped them respond more quickly to changing business conditions. Cloud computing also helps companies to grow their IT resources as needed.

Cloud Computing in the business context

Figure 1: Cloud Computing in the business context

(Source: Haddara et al. 2022)

The ability of employees to access data and apps from any location further increases productivity. According to Global Workplace Analytics, usage of remote work has increased by 400% over the previous ten years. Finally, the advantages of cloud computing for security cannot be emphasized [1]. The average cost of a data breach for a company is $3.86 million, according to a survey by IBM, but cloud adoption lowers the risk of a breach by 28%, per a study by Alert Logic. Overall, cloud computing's value in a commercial environment is evident due to the substantial cost reductions, productivity increases, and security advantages.

2.2 Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Machine Learning

Spending on AI and ML is anticipated to reach $97.9 billion by 2023, according to research by IDC, demonstrating the broad acceptance of these technologies. For SMEs, AI and ML have several advantages. According to a Juniper Research report, AI-powered chatbots can manage consumer questions and complaints, cutting customer care expenses by up to 30%. In this way, AI and ML may aid SMEs in making better business decisions [3]. According to a Salesforce survey, 65% of SMEs say AI aids in making quicker and more informed decisions. According to Deloitte research, 40% of firms claim that AI has enhanced productivity in their organization. AI and ML can also increase productivity. A survey by Accenture found that 53% of organizations reported a decrease in mistakes as a result of using AI and ML. AI and ML may also improve the accuracy of corporate processes.

2.3 Edge Computing

Edge computing is becoming more and more popular among SMEs, and the statistics support this. The worldwide edge computing market is anticipated to reach $15.7 billion by 2025, according to a MarketsandMarkets analysis, showing the technology's expanding uptake. Edge computing offers SMEs a number of advantages [4]. Edge computing minimizes latency and enables quicker reaction times by processing data closer to the source, enhancing system performance as a whole. For SMEs that depend on real-time data processing to make crucial business decisions, this is especially significant.

Process of Edge Computing

Figure 2: Process of Edge Computing

(Source: Alsafi and Fan 2020):

Since data processing takes place locally rather than being routed to a centralized cloud data center, edge computing can also assist SMEs in lowering their bandwidth expenses. In this way, edge computing can boost security since it processes data locally rather than sending it across a network that can be susceptible. As sensitive data may be handled locally rather than being transmitted to a centralized cloud data center where it can be subject to data privacy legislation, edge computing can also assist SMEs in complying with data privacy standards.

2.4 Containerization

The figures show that containerization is becoming more and more common among SMEs and are beneficial. Datadog found that the use of containerization grew by 35% in 2020, showing that this technology is becoming more widely used. For SMEs, containerization has several advantages. SMEs may accelerate application deployment, enhance scalability, and simplify the administration of their IT infrastructure by encapsulating applications and services in containers [5]. In this way containerization enables better resource utilization and eliminates the need for specialized hardware, it might assist SMEs in lowering their infrastructure expenses. Overall, containerization gives small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) an affordable and effective solution to manage their IT infrastructure and applications, allowing them to concentrate on their primary business goals.

2.5 Serverless Architecture

Serverless architecture, supported by Function-as-a-Service (FaaS) technology, is becoming more and more common among SMEs, and the statistics back this up. The global FaaS market is anticipated to increase from $1.88 billion in 2020 to $7.72 billion by 2025, according to a MarketsandMarkets analysis, showing the technology's increasing use. Serverless architecture has several advantages for SMEs. SMEs may increase flexibility, scalability, and cost savings by doing away with the requirement for dedicated servers [6]. In this way, because it frees them up to concentrate on their primary business goals, serverless architecture can assist SMEs lessen the strain of managing their IT infrastructure. In order to manage their IT infrastructure and applications, SMEs may grow their businesses as necessary while keeping expenses in check thanks to serverless architecture and FaaS. SMEs can acquire a competitive edge and accomplish their strategic goals by utilizing this technology.

Difference between Traditional & serverless system

Figure 3: Difference between Traditional & serverless system

(Source: Shetty and Panda, 2021)

3. Strategies for Migrating to the Cloud

3.1 Assessing Current Infrastructure

In order to create efficient cloud migration strategies for SMEs, evaluating the current infrastructure is a crucial first step. IDG research indicates that 70% of businesses believe evaluating their present infrastructure is essential to the achievement of the cloud transition. Evaluating the present hardware, software, and network elements or appraising their functionality, security, and adherence to standard practices are all parts of reviewing the current network [7]. This evaluation aids SMEs in determining whether their present infrastructure is suitable for a move to the cloud and identifies any potential obstacles that could appear throughout the migration process.

In this way, SMEs may make better use of technology and tools like workload monitoring tools, application dependency mapping tools, and tools for cloud migration evaluation to evaluate their present infrastructure. These technologies offer perceptions of the functionality of the current infrastructure, assist in locating any possible bottlenecks, and offer suggestions for improving the infrastructure in preparation for the transition to the cloud [8]. In order to create efficient cloud migration plans for SMEs, evaluating the current infrastructure is a crucial first step. SMEs are able to evaluate the efficacy of their present systems and pinpoint any potential issues by utilizing the right tools and technologies, allowing them to create a migration plan that maximizes the advantages of cloud computing while causing the least amount of disturbance to their company's activities.

3.2 Estimating Cloud Migration Costs

When establishing a cloud migration strategy for SMEs, evaluating cloud migration expenses is a crucial factor to take into account. The cost of switching to the cloud was cited by 34% of organizations as their top issue in a RightScale poll. SMEs must take into account a number of variables, including the kind and quantity of workloads to be moved, the level of customization necessary, and the cloud service supplier of choice, in order to estimate the migration's costs. SMEs have to consider the cost of data movement, network connectivity, and any necessary software authorization.

The cost of moving to the public cloud for small to medium-sized enterprises might vary depending on how complicated their computer network is. A medium-sized business with 100 people and 10 servers, for instance, may budget as much as $50,000 for a complete migration to the cloud. Costs for assistance with consulting, transfer of data, network design, and training are included in this estimation [9]. It's crucial to remember that the price of a cloud migration might vary significantly based on the particular needs and demands of the organization. To obtain a more precise assessment of the expenses involved, SMEs can use cloud conversion cost calculators and interact with suppliers of cloud services.

In general, SMEs must take into account cloud migration expenses while planning their cloud migration plans. SMEs may build an affordable migration plan that maximizes the positive aspects of the cloud while minimizing expenses and interruption to their business's operations by carefully examining their unique needs and utilizing suitable instruments and resources.

3.3 Deciding on a Cloud Provider

The features, costs, and services offered by different cloud providers differ. Cost and efficacy need to be the two key criteria taken into account when choosing a supplier for a medium-sized organization. It needs to be noted that cloud computing services frequently provide a variety of price options, including pay-as-you-go and subscription service pricing. Furthermore, there can be special offers or solutions that are catered to the demands of the medium-sized firm [10]. A cloud service provider must be able to deliver the required resources and flexibility to satisfy the expectations of the company in terms of performance. SLAs should be designed to guarantee the best performance and dependability.

Importance of cloud computing in SMEs

Figure 4: Importance of cloud computing in SMEs

(Source: Nagahawatta et al. 2021)

The provider of cloud computing should also be able to offer a secure platform with tools like control over access, encoding, and verification. A medium-sized corporation may choose wisely by considering the cloud supplier's price, efficiency, and security. To make sure the supplier of cloud services is the right match for the organization, it's also crucial to think about the decision's long-term effects, such as flexibility and migration expenses. A large firm may choose a cloud supplier with success if they carefully analyze their options.

3.3 Connecting On-Premises Environment to the Cloud

In the commercial context of SMEs, integrating an on-premises infrastructure into the technology is an affordable cloud migration technique. Organizations may profit from a combination of approaches that suits their specific demands by combining the scalability, dependability, and agility of cloud computing with the affordability and control of an on-premises system. A combination of on-the-premises, personal cloud, and open cloud systems can be used to accomplish this [12]. For instance, a midsize company with 500 people may shift to the public cloud and cut its IT expenditures by as much as 20% while keeping control over its existing infrastructure. Furthermore, they may free up staff to concentrate on their main company duties while cutting the time required to implement new apps and services by as much as 85%. In general, this hybrid strategy may aid businesses in maximizing their ROI and improving their responsiveness to client demands.

3.4 Ensuring Security and Compliance with Cloud Migration

Implementing strong security measures like authentication using multiple factors, encryption, and access restriction should be part of the approach. In this way, it should guarantee that the cloud service provider complies with all applicable laws, including HIPAA and the GDPR. The strategy should also outline how to regularly monitor the cloud architecture and respond to security issues. Businesses ought to weigh the expenses of shifting to the cloud as well as whether the infrastructure can meet their goals. In the case of company security improvement, there are various types of cloud authentication involved like two-step verification. Implementing strong security measures like authentication using multiple factors, encryption, and access restriction should be part of the approach [11]. In this way, it should guarantee that the online service provider complies with all applicable laws, including HIPAA and the GDPR. In this way, the plan should include how to track the cloud infrastructure on a regular basis and react to security problems. Businesses should also think about the costs associated with moving to the web and confirm that the system can accommodate their needs. For instance, the business should pick a cloud service that can handle its high-volume data handling and storage requirements.

4. Difficulties Associated with Migrating to the Cloud

4.1 Financial Challenges

Due to different financial difficulties, SMEs may find it difficult to make the transition to cloud technology. The costly nature of switching from conventional computer systems to solutions that use the cloud represents one of the main challenges. This price may include the expense of investing in new technology and software, hiring new staff members, and moving data into the clouds. A medium-sized business, for instance, might have to fork up $50,000 to $100,000 to move its information and apps to the clouds [13]. SMEs could have continuing costs related to using cloud computing as well as to the starting price of migration. They would have to pay monthly membership fees for cloud-based amenities like technology at a service (SaaS), platforms as a service (PaaS), and equipment as a service (IaaS), for example. These recurring costs may mount up rapidly and be challenging for SMEs to keep track of, especially if they have a limited budget.

In addition, there can be additional expenses related to cloud computing, which include data transmission charges and the price of integrating services that are cloud-based with current IT infrastructure. These expenses might not be obvious right away, but they can have a big influence on how much switching to the cloud will ultimately cost [15]. SMEs may face considerable financial obstacles while converting to the cloud. Before considering the switch, SMEs must carefully weigh the switching costs as well as recurring expenditures related to cloud computing. In this way, they have to collaborate with knowledgeable cloud service companies to find any potential unforeseen expenses and create an adequate budget for moving to the cloud and continuing operations.

4.2 Technical Challenges

Due to a number of technological difficulties, SMEs find it challenging to migrate to the cloud. For instance, confirming that the current equipment is interoperable with a cloud-based platform might be challenging [14]. In this way, SMEs frequently lack the tools and knowledge necessary for successfully handling cloud surroundings, creating safety and legal problems. Finally, SMEs frequently lack the means and bandwidth needed to manage the massive volumes of personal information that cloud-based services need. A recent investigation found that 20% of the SMEs polled had trouble moving to the cloud because of insufficient information and resources, whereas another 27% had technical difficulties. These statistics show that moving SMEs to the cloud presents substantial difficulties.

Challenges in cloud computing

Figure 5: Challenges in cloud computing

(Source: Mohanty, 2019)

4.3 Organizational Challenges

When moving to the cloud, medium-sized organizations must overcome a number of obstacles. These difficulties frequently result from the absence of an acceptable computer network, through a lack of assets, and from insufficient security precautions. 40% of smaller companies don't have the IT infrastructure necessary to support migration to the cloud initiatives [17]. Furthermore, 25% of these companies don't have the resources they need to secure their servers in the cloud effectively. Finally, over 20% of large companies lack the safety safeguards required to safeguard their data on the cloud. Cloud migration techniques that are properly planned and put into action help lessen these difficulties.

 4.4 Security Challenges

Among the most frequent issues SMEs have when moving to the cloud are security concerns. Data breaches may cost medium-sized companies anywhere from one million dollars to 7 million dollars, or, on a typical basis, 4.9% of their yearly revenue. Furthermore, a medium-sized company's average compromise cost is $2.86 million, which is more than the median for larger companies [16]. In this way, a medium-sized company’s typical target cost is $1.2 million, that's more than what is typical for smaller companies. The necessity to solve regulatory compliance problems, like GDPR, along with additional issues associated with security may increase these expenditures. Therefore, it's crucial that medium-size companies have strong security measures implemented when migrating to the cloud.

4.5 Regulatory Challenges

Compatibility with information security laws like GDPR and the CCPA is one of the legal problems related to cloud migration in SMEs. A survey indicates that noncompliance with these standards is the reason why 52% of Businesses are yet to complete the transition to the cloud. In addition, 35% of Businesses said they had not taken the essential steps to safeguard their data on the cloud [18]. Furthermore, only 13% of small businesses claimed to have taken all necessary steps to safeguard the information they store in the data center. Therefore, it is clear that one of the primary explanations for why SMEs aren't moving to the cloud is compliance difficulties.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it is impossible to emphasize the security issues that come with shifting small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) to cloud computing. Although cloud computing has many advantages, including cost savings and greater versatility, it also brings fresh hazards that SMEs need to manage. These hazards include compliance concerns, attacks via the internet, and data leaks. To safeguard the integrity of their information and systems, Businesses must put strong security measures in place. A secure cloud provider should be chosen, strict identification and access control should be put in place, security measures should be continuously monitored and updated, and staff members should receive regular instruction. By doing these things, SMEs may benefit from the use of clouds without lowering the privacy risks involved.

References

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