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There is no doubt that the cloud brings many benefits which explains the rapid increase in adoption among small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs).

However, SMBs still think that keeping their data in the cloud is unsafe. Some old worries businesses used to have ten years ago still exist today.

1.    Businesses find it hard to trust third-parties with valuable data

Third-party cloud platforms have changed the ways that organisations work by making it much easier for teams to share data. This is the reason why businesses are worried about how easy it might be for unauthorised people to access their data.

But nowadays, using the cloud is almost a mandatory part of business, businesses that don’t take advantage of its benefits are eventually shooting themselves in the productivity foot.

Furthermore, recent research from IS Decisions has found that SMBs think that cloud storage is inherently less safe than on-premises. As a result, lots of businesses end up with the hybrid approach, which can cause a lot of headache for IT teams when it comes to managing the security of both on-premise and cloud storage.

2.    Cloud storage made compliance with regulation harder, not easier

Using cloud storage is making compliance with regulation much harder, rather than easier. Although the massive cloud storage platforms have worked to ensure compliance with major regulations like HIPAA, FISMA, ISO 27001 and many others, the issues exist because there’s still a chance that data that resides on that infrastructure is susceptible to being intercepted or modified by those that are not authorised to do so.

A number of questions still exist for SMBs — who is going to look after my data? Who is going to be able to see it? Is it going to be the people that manage the infrastructure for us? Is it going to be internal and external people? Is our data in a public cloud going to be segregated from data belonging to other organisations?

3.    Data theft from outgoing employees becomes too easy

Data stored on on-premises file servers is ‘relatively’ secure from unauthorised use because native security permits only approve access to data for specific users (or groups of users) within the organisation. Furthermore, there’s also a need to be physically in the office to access the files, which creates a natural boundary against unauthorised access from outside the organisation.

But, with cloud storage files and folders can be accessed by employees using laptops, smartphones and tablets — sometimes even their own devices — and from anywhere in the world so it eliminates the need to be physically present in an office, as. So it becomes almost too easy for employees leaving the business to steal data before they go.

In fact, even when employees do officially leave, there’s still a problem — previous research from IS Decisions found that a third of ex-employees still have access to company data after they’ve left.

How can SMBs tackle these concerns?

There are ways to ensure that your data is protected both on-premises and in the cloud for companies operating in a hybrid environment.

The most effective way to do so is to invest in technology that proactively tracks, audits and reports on all access to files and folders — no matter where it resides. It’s best to invest in a solution that can alert you in real-time and alert IT teams about suspicious file activity the moment it occurs.

It’s important to have a solution in place that provides you with a consistent view of the security of your data across all your storage servers, whether on-premises or on a third-party cloud system. It means that you’ll be the first to know if someone other than an authorised employee attempts to access your data.

Knowledge is power.

Written By: François Amigorena