For many small and medium-sized businesses in Ireland, concerns about IT security can be problematic to address and hold companies back from taking advantage of the cloud.

Generally-speaking, most Irish businesses aren’t large enough to have an IT security specialist on staff, so they don’t necessarily have somebody who can allay their worries. Those that do, often have trouble trusting a third-party service like Microsoft Office 365 with their IT infrastructure.

But small or large, all Irish businesses understand the risks of having lax cybersecurity, and they recognise that they are at risk if they make the wrong IT decisions.

It can feel as if the easiest thing is to do nothing, and just keep systems the way they are. But that’s a mistake.

At DC Networks, we’re used to filling the shoes of the IT security specialist for Irish SMEs, particularly when it comes to moving to the cloud. We’ve put together some information on Office 365 that we’re always being asked about to help you find out what it offers, what risks it contains and where the balance of pros and cons falls.

 

Office 365 and business concerns

Any IT security specialist knows that the weakest point of IT infrastructure is its human element – such as failure to implement new security measures, update software or stick to security protocols. So it’s not surprising that when it’s suggested that you trust your business infrastructure to a third party, many businesses feel a little worried.

These concerns are valid, but they’re misplaced – and here’s why.

Data protection worries

  • I don’t want Microsoft or other companies having access to my business data.
    Microsoft has no access to business data when it’s stored in the Cloud. Instead they use approval processes and auditing to guarantee security without ever having to look at client data. Similarly, they use authentication processes to ensure that no other company using the Cloud can possibly access the data held in Office 365.
  • I need to be able to control who has access to our data and on what devices.
    Within each organisation, unauthorised personnel can’t access your data because the Office 365 systems use encryption, plus identity and authorisation protocols to secure stored files, whether they attempt to access it by phone, tablet or PC.
  • If our data is on their servers, won’t they own it?
    Microsoft doesn’t own the data it stores for you, only you have ownership rights to it. And doesn’t keep copies of your data past 90 days if subscriptions are cancelled.

 

Office 365 migration concerns

Irish businesses tend to have two major worries about moving to Office 365:

  1. they fear the migration process itself either will not work or will be too disruptive
  2. they are worried about getting into a cycle of migration

From experience, the good news about moving to Office 365 is that it is the last migration you will need to make. From then on Microsoft handles all your updates, patches, and other technical issues from the service side so that all your business experiences is a seamless, continuous system.

The second piece of good news is that over time the migration process has been honed and perfected to make it easy for you. As Microsoft Gold Partners, our team have migrated hundreds of businesses to Office 365 and to the cloud with minimal disruption to day to day operations.

Doesn’t being cloud-based put my business at greater risk of cyber attacks?

Actually, no. Without getting into the arcane history of cyber-crime, any business will be best protected by having the most up-to-date systems and protective mechanisms designed to defend against cyber attacks.

While no system in the world is hack-proof, having the latest and best defences against the most recent nefarious criminal activities makes a big difference in lowering your risk – and that’s what Office 365 offers.

 

Setting the standard for cloud security

Microsoft has built its reputation over the years by consistently being an industry-leader in terms of IT security and by ensuring its platforms are well-defended against cyber threats. Through expertise and innovation it has become the standard for cloud security that others look to.

  • Data is stored in billion-dollar data centres, designed to ensure that nothing interrupts business activity
  • World-class encryption, authentication protocols and protection systems that are constantly updated protect organisations from current threats
  • Best practice can be implemented almost by default by customers so companies can remain recognisably different, whilst sitting comfortably within a global SAAS system that supports business growth

Every Office 365 subscription comes with a 99.9% uptime guarantee as part of Microsoft’s SLA and on top of this, Microsoft deliver in terms of end user experience.

So, is Office 365 secure? In short, yes. It sets the standard for cloud platform security and it is used by large and small businesses worldwide. All businesses need to operate securely, safely and efficiently while also providing functionality, performance, user experience and, for the most part, cost savings. Office 365 meets all of these requirements.

 

If you want to know more about how your business could take advantage of the cloud or about Office 365, get in touch at enquiries@dcnetworks.ie and we will be happy to answer any questions you have.