Cloud Computing for Small Business: Criminal and Security Threats and Prevention Measures

By Hutchings, Alice; Smith, Russell G. et al. | Trends & Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice, May 2013 | Go to article overview

Cloud Computing for Small Business: Criminal and Security Threats and Prevention Measures


Hutchings, Alice, Smith, Russell G., James, Lachlan, Trends & Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice


Cloud computing refers to the delivery of computer processing infrastructure, operating systems, software and data storage over Internet-based public or private computer networks. The aim is to relieve users of some of the burdens associated with maintaining computers and data storage, while enabling the associated costs to be reduced. Although cloud computing is still developing in popularity and coverage, its use raises a number of crime and security concerns, particularly for small business users. This paper charts the nature of these concerns for small business and reviews the detection, prevention and mitigation measures that may be implemented by small business users and cloud service providers to minimise or negate the risks identified.

The small business computing environment

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (2001) defines a small business as one employing fewer than 20 people and includes sole proprietorships as well as partnerships without employees. As at June 201 1 , small businesses represented 96 percent of businesses in Australia (ABS 2012). Small business suffers from what Welsh and White (1981 : 32) describe as 'resource poverty' compared with larger organisations. This includes limited in-house specialist technical and/or legal knowledge necessary to evaluate and capture the benefits of new operational services and technologies. It is also a very time-constrained working environment, where personnel frequently work overtime in order to complete necessary tasks. Small business has limited access to financial resources and inconsistent cash flow, as well as limited bargaining power. Arguably, there is a need for greater tolerance to risk, with many Australian small businesses experiencing low survival rates- in any one year, more than 15 percent of all small businesses can be expected to fail (DIISR 2011).

In relation to information and communications technologies (ICT), small businesses may seek to save costs by using laptop computers, tablet devices and mobile phones for both business and personal use. ICT is also often shared among personnel and small businesses are more likely to have poorly setup and maintained firewalls, virus protection and other security software than their larger counterparts.

Small businesses face a number of computer security threats and may lack the time and/or technical resources to install software updates and patches to fix software and security bugs or address wireless network security, rendering them vulnerable to network exploitation (Hutchings2012). Finally, small businesses are always on the lookout for new tools and are willing to adopt alternative software applications. These aspects all create vulnerabilities in terms of computer security and safety.

One solution that is gradually being adopted by small business is to make use of so-called 'cloud computing'. Cloud computing includes the delivery of computer processing infrastructure (Infrastructure as a Service- laaS), operating system platforms (Platform as a Service- PaaS) and/or software, databases and storage as a service (Software as a Service- SaaS) on demand over either a public or private computer network (Meli & Granee 2011). The range of cloud computing services (including some that are provided free of charge) that meet the particular needs of small business is vast and growing rapidly.

There are many benefits to be derived from cloud computing for small business including improvements in cash flow, reduced administrative and personnel overheads, more efficient setup and maintenance of ICT, and improvements in computer security, particularly with respect to the secure storage of sensitive information (Mowbray 2009). Finally, cloud services replace the need for frequent software installation and updates, and their accompanying service downtime.

While cloud computing holds great promise for small business, it does not completely remove all ICT overheads. Small businesses remain tasked with engaging other subscription services, such as an Internet Service Provider. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Cloud Computing for Small Business: Criminal and Security Threats and Prevention Measures
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.