Oct 17 2022

What SMBs Need to Know About Security and the Cloud

Leaders of small and midsized businesses should focus on managing and securing data in the cloud.

Many small and midsized businesses are migrating data and workloads to cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform. By making this move, these businesses may offload the responsibilities associated with operating on-premises data centers, such as heating and cooling. However, when migrating data to the cloud, some IT and business leaders make the mistake of thinking they can simply forget about the responsibility of managing — and securing — that data.

This common misconception can lead to major headaches, because security in any environment — in the cloud, on-premises or in a hybrid combination of the two — is still an essential consideration.

While a cloud provider handles many security responsibilities for its environment, it’s important for IT leaders and users to understand that they still retain significant responsibility for security, even after data has been migrated to a cloud environment. Indeed, cloud security is a shared responsibility.

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Responsibility for Security in a Cloud Environment

One of the best ways to explain the need for security in a cloud environment is to compare it to an office building. Within an office building, many organizations may rent space to conduct business. Within a company’s rented space, employees with proper credentials come and go to complete tasks as needed. However, when the workday ends and employees leave, the business must make sure to secure its space by locking the doors.

Locking the doors of the rented office space ensures that the work employees have done is safe and secure. When the doors are locked, outsiders and even employees without necessary credentials are denied access to the office space (and any information stored there). However, if a business does not lock its doors or have proper security measures in place, unauthorized individuals may gain access the office space. This may expose vital documents, information and projects, putting them at risk of being stolen or otherwise compromised. Ultimately, the business itself — not the office space provider — is responsible for making sure that the doors are locked and the location is secure. Similarly, in the cloud, businesses must take some responsibility for the security of their data.

LEARN MORE: Find out how small businesses can benefit from Security as a Service.

Security Measures to Consider in the Cloud

Organizations that migrate data and workloads to a cloud environment are responsible for securing their sensitive information. Vital measures include backing up data, establishing secure network connections, monitoring traffic and patching systems promptly. Deploying effective authentication tools, such as multifactor authentication, can also ensure the right people have the right access to the data they need.

CDW offers a variety of cloud security solutions and services. For example, a professional services engagement can help strengthen governance, focusing on who has access to cloud resources and how that access is obtained. Managed services through CDW can help small businesses address their security needs on an ongoing basis without adding demands on in-house security teams.  

CDW incident response services can help an organization detect, respond to and recover from a cybersecurity breach. CDW also offers vulnerability assessments, compliance tests, gap analyses and penetration tests, which can identify weaknesses in an organization’s cloud security posture and suggest steps to remediate issues.

Businesses of any size can benefit from the use of cloud resources. However, it is crucial to secure an organization’s cloud environment effectively. Having a partner to guide your business through the necessary steps can ensure that your data and workloads remain secure in the cloud.

This article is part of BizTech's AgilITy blog series. Please join the discussion on Twitter by using the #SmallBizIT hashtag.

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