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Companies are storing more and more of their valuable data in the cloud and cyber attackers know this. However, the efficiency and productivity benefits of cloud platforms are such that businesses cannot afford not to use them, yet it is the lack of ownership and control that makes it difficult for the average SMB to ensure the security of data stored in the cloud, especially in-house without the right people and skills in place. This is why the more successful ones often partner with an MSP who has the resources and expertise to manage it for them.

Cyberattacks, which mostly target on premise resources such as ransomware attacks, identity theft, or data exfiltration, are also becoming a growing concern for cloud storage platforms. As companies increasingly shift their resources to the cloud, the need to address these security challenges with additional services is a major concern.

It’s also difficult to manage the security of both on-premises and cloud storage in a hybrid environment. A mix of existing IT infrastructure and public cloud may be the ‘right choice’ for many companies, but it also brings with it privacy, compliance and security concerns.

Lack of in-house expertise and resources to properly secure their cloud deployments can make SMBs easy targets. This is where MSP expertise can help.

SMBs don’t trust the security of their data in the cloud

The benefits of the cloud are obvious, but according to our research, 61 percent of SMBs believe that their data is not secure in the cloud. What’s driving these perceptions? We have identified three important points for MSPs to highlight in their conversations with clients:

    1. It’s harder to detect unauthorized access. With data stored on-premises, there is a need to be physically present in the office to access these files, which creates a natural barrier from outside the organization. Moreover, IT can restrict access only to specific devices. With cloud-based storage, data can be accessed from anywhere in the world and on any device, greatly increasing the likelihood of unauthorized access. This opens up opportunity for MSPs who can offer 24/7 security monitoring on behalf of their clients.
    2. It’s harder to stop or prevent data theft from employees leaving. For exactly the same reasons, it is much easier to detect an employee stealing valuable information when it is stored on the physical desktop computer. Cloud storage makes it very easy for employees to steal data before they leave. An MSP that manages permissions and monitors suspicious activity can prevent malicious employees and users from abusing their access.
    3. Companies are still suffering breaches. Since moving to the cloud, 29 percent of companies have suffered a breach of files or folders stored in the cloud and the consequences of breaches have been incredibly damaging —15 percent say they have suffered significant reputational damage as a result of unauthorised access to sensitive business data stored on cloud networks. MSPs that offer cloud security services can save their clients, both in terms of financial losses and reputation damage.

Top opportunity for MSPs

Cloud security is becoming more complex with each passing day, which makes it such a great opportunity for MSPs. For example, Kevin Damghani, Chief Engineer at IT Partners, a leading MSP in the United States, said in a statement last year that SaaS protection was their fastest growing offering.

As more and more clients move to the cloud, MSPs can benefit from providing multi-layered security solutions to keep their data secure. Without this security offering, MSPs miss out on a great opportunity and risk compromising their clients’ data.

Photo: Jirsak / Shutterstock

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François Amigorena

Posted by François Amigorena

François Amigorena is the founder and CEO of IS Decisions, and an expert commentator on cybersecurity issues. IS Decisions' product FileAudit provides a simple but robust tool for auditing and alerting on all access, and access attempts, to files, folders and file shares located on cloud storage platforms and the Windows environment.

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