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UAE SMBs reach for cloud

Almost half of small businesses considering migration: Symantec

More than 60% of young companies hit by cyber attacks close within six months.
More than 60% of young companies hit by cyber attacks close within six months.

Symantec Corp today announced that 46% of UAE small to medium businesses not currently using cloud services were considering doing so in the near future.

The figures were revealed during Symantec's 2012 SMB Cloud Adoption Survey. The survey indicated that service coverage of cloud technologies, including 24-7 protection and time savings, provided a strong incentive for the move.

Symantec said the survey results provided insight of the business culture of those firms that employ less than 250 staff and how they look at technology as a function. Protection of information and efficient use of IT man hours are two advantages commonly associated with a cloud framework.

"At Symantec, we are very aware that SMBs are driving our global economies and are just as dependent on information to drive their business as their larger enterprise counterparts," said Justin Doo, cloud and security practice director for Middle East and North Africa, Symantec Corp.

"However, SMBs don't typically have dedicated IT personnel to focus on the information protection making them potentially more susceptible to risks.  What's more, SMBs conduct business with many enterprises, and today's sophisticated internet hackers see them as a potential backdoor into these larger organisations.  SMBs can benefit from greater protection and the flexibility of newer, scalable, and easy-to-manage technologies and services such as cloud computing."


According to Symantec's 2012 Internet Security Threat Report, 18% of all targeted attacks are directed at businesses with 250 employees or less.  More than 60% of young companies hit by cyber attacks close within six months. The 2012 adoption survey shows that more than 50% of organisations are more likely to adopt the services if it would guarantee 24-7 protection of business critical information.

Popularity of cloud models has been growing in the UAE and SMBs are rapidly becoming more aware of the common arguments in favour of their adoption. The majority of survey respondents said they were aware of cloud computing and 52% could correctly define the term. Almost 40% use cloud services for personal use, and more than a quarter for business purposes, citing social media sites as the top used cloud services.

Of those respondents considering imminent implementation of the technology, 89% expected the move to come within six months to two years.

Respondents mentioned lower operational costs, greater mobility for staff and enhanced information security as the principle incentives for adopting cloud solutions, while concerns about data security, data privacy and lack of control were noted as top barriers.

Time savings from the services is a major motivator with 86% expressing favour with cloud services if the technology could deliver on this promise.