Cloud Security

Three cloud security misconceptions that hold SMBs back

Cloud Security Misconceptions

There’s a lot going on inside the minds of small and medium-sized business (SMB) owners. Small business owners already know what I’m talking about. What’s the challenge today? Cash flow? Talent acquisition? Productivity? With so many competing priorities to deal with, it’s natural to focus efforts on tasks that directly impact profit. But in doing so, owners tend to neglect a critical aspect of the organization’s long-term growth prospects: security.

Most SMB owners I speak with are happy to discuss new opportunities to drive profit. Increasingly, those opportunities exist in the cloud, whether it’s gaining new insights from data, effortlessly scaling to meet demand, or enabling collaboration from anywhere. But when it comes to cloud security, I often encounter misconceptions that not only damage an SMB’s ability to protect itself, but also limit its ability to save and scale.

Misconception #1: Security costs too much money – and it’s not a priority initiative

A recent study by AWS revealed that 35% of SMBs do not consider security a high-priority initiative. Sophisticated cyberthreats are not just a concern for enterprises, and cloud security gives access to the same infrastructure and tools used by organizations with the highest security needs—think healthcare, finance, and defense applications in the government. Beyond protection, sustaining revenue, earning customer trust, and maintaining a clear pathway to growth are all easier when companies invest in security.

Businesses of all sizes that use cloud security inherit all the security, controls, and certifications of their chosen provider’s infrastructure. So, SMB owners can meet their unique security and compliancy requirements at scale—all while only paying for the resources they actually use. It’s also possible to bypass all the expenses associated with maintaining physical infrastructure, helping owners reinvest in other areas that drive savings and growth.

Misconception #2: Cloud apps are inherently less secure than on-premises

About 50% of SMBs express concern about cloud security and migration. I understand. Many small companies are satisfied with on-premises, so why make a change? It’s a fair question. Remember that familiarity doesn’t equal safety. And cloud security offers flexibility and scalability that on-premises infrastructure cannot.

When companies store data in the cloud, the provider has responsibility for safeguarding the infrastructure. This lets the SMB owner focus on what what’s actually being stored. And the right cloud partners can help select the services needed for that. If the company needs more computing capacity, it can access it without needing to purchase and maintain physical infrastructure, while the provider helps the organization stay compliant with industry regulations.

Misconception #3: Companies need a large IT team and extensive resources to maintain strong security

Forty percent of SMBs report skill gaps as a barrier preventing them from investing in security, though 41% have yet to offer any security training to their staff. It’s likely another example of familiarity with on-premises infrastructure working against an organization. Managing security on-premises often involves more complexity and it’s more time-consuming than the cloud. But cloud security doesn’t require more budget for a company to succeed.

Though aware of their security, risk, and compliance requirements, 30% of SMBs are unsure of how to manage them. Cloud migration opens the door to capabilities that leave the company more secure, while also freeing up existing to staff to focus on growth-oriented tasks. Automation liberates the team from time-consuming manual tasks like threat detection and remediation, while multifactor authentication and role-based access controls help the team better protect critical assets. Cloud security also makes it easy to maintain a unified and holistic view of the security footprint, lets the company adopt a proactive, rather than reactive approach to protecting the business.

Powerful cloud security capabilities are not exclusive to enterprises, nor are the strategies that these larger organizations use to remain safe and profitable. No matter the budget, team size, or in-house expertise, SMBs can afford enterprise-grade cloud security. Automation, centralized management and monitoring, and expert support are just some of the capabilities SMBs can bring to the business—and the benefits are far-reaching.

There’s a lot going on inside the minds of SMB business owners, but for those who give security the attention it deserves, they will improve their security posture, save time, and soon uncover new opportunities to save, scale, and grow the business.

Ben Schreiner, head of business innovation for SMB, Amazon Web Services

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