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Is the Cloud safe for small and medium businesses? Debunking security myths

Article written by Mohit Gadkari and Oren Waldman (AWS)

The global workforce is rapidly digitizing. Thanks in part to a pandemic that accelerated the shift to remote work and consumers who demand an optimized supply chain, companies of various sizes are adopting cloud computing to modernize their business and compete in our digital world.

However, there is one big question on the minds of many of the small and medium businesses (SMBs) who are considering cloud migration: Is it safe? If you’re one of the 40 percent of SMBs without a dedicated in-house IT staff member, this could seem especially daunting.

SMBs may not be sure what to think, in part, because of the myths surrounding cloud security. More than half of IT and security leaders are not confident in their organization’s ability to verify the security of their cloud environments, while others worry that the nature of the cloud will make their critical data prone to cyber events.

A greater understanding of cloud security can help SMBs keep their information safe. Today, we’ll debunk some of the most common myths about security in the cloud—in plain language—helping non-technical business leaders understand its importance.

Myth 1: The cloud is not secure

At Amazon Web Services, we hear from many SMB customers who think that when they store their data in the cloud, they surrender their ability to manage and secure it. This is not the case. Cloud providers like AWS not only provide customers with 24/7/365 access to their information, they also give them the scalable tools they need to help protect it. If you’re an SMB that sends files over email, backs up data to USB drives, or has paper files, AWS offers more secure options to help you manage sensitive info.

Security features, including comprehensive monitoring systems and data protection, can help give SMBs the confidence they need to protect their most valuable information. This helps teams implement security solutions faster and do more with less.

Myth 2: My data is less secure in the cloud

Protecting your data is an ongoing responsibility. That’s why it’s smart to have the backing of a cloud provider that can help you understand the best security solutions for your SMB at every stage of its journey.

At AWS, we provide that backing with a Shared Responsibility Model. This relieves the operational burden of secure infrastructure from the SMB—you don’t have to worry about protecting the infrastructure that runs your cloud services. You benefit from a cloud and network architecture built to meet the requirements of the most security-sensitive organizations, including governments, financial services, and healthcare. And this can help cut costs, especially if your cloud migration means you no longer have to rely on on-premises IT equipment or physical security of certain documents and databases.

At the same time, you’ll have the flexibility to work with AWS to uncover the security solutions that make sense for you. We can provide you with guidelines and suggestions on how best to secure your workloads, but you will maintain full access to (and responsibility for) your organization’s most valuable data. We do not access or use your content for any purpose without your agreement, but we will be backing it with the full power of our security infrastructure.

The AWS Shared Responsibility Model depicting how customers are responsible for their own data, while AWS is responsible for the infrastructure hosting it.

Learn more from your SMB peers in industries such as travel, healthcare, media, finance and more. Seek inspiration and get exclusive offers in the AWS Connected Community

Myth 3: Data can’t be controlled once it’s in the cloud

Your cloud provider won’t dictate every aspect of how you store and protect your data. Along with full access to your info, you can also make several decisions regarding how you want it to be secured. Depending on the features and services you use, you can choose how you want to encrypt it and how you classify it. AWS provides tools that allow customers to encrypt their data in transit and at rest. Data flowing across the AWS global network is encrypted by default at the physical layer before it leaves our secured facilities. You then have the option to add multiple levels of encryption to protect your applications and their data. You can also deploy several automated tools like Identity and Access Management to determine which members of your organization have permission to access certain files. This is especially helpful for keeping confidential data on a need-to-know basis.

Myth 4: Cloud computing is too new to trust

AWS launched its first service in 2004. Nearly two decades later, AWS is the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud offering over 200 fully featured services from data centers around the world. Millions of customers—including the fastest-growing startups, largest enterprises, and leading government agencies—are using AWS to lower costs, become more agile, and innovate faster. SMBs can take advantage of similar services that are right for their organizations.

AWS has unmatched experience, maturity, reliability, security, and performance that you can depend upon for your most important applications. AWS has delivered cloud services to millions of customers around the world running a wide variety of use cases, giving it the most operational experience, at greater scale, of any cloud provider.

Next steps

Cyber events will always exist, but cloud security provides the agility and tools necessary to help detect, manage, and prevent those threats better than legacy IT equipment can. As Gartner recently suggested, rather than asking, “Is the cloud secure?” a more helpful question would be, “Am I using the cloud securely?”

Are you ready to see how AWS Cloud can help your SMB secure its most critical data? Our team can help you determine your biggest security opportunities, uncover the tools that will grow with your business, and oversee a seamless migration to a secure cloud. Ready to take action? Contact us or learn more on our Smart Business website.

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