More and more companies are now using cloud storage. Using the cloud for your storage does affect the security of your data, but how? 61% of SMBs believe their data in unsafe in the cloud, why? And what can they do about it? SMBs are concerned about their data stored in the cloud There are many benefits to using the cloud for storage, which is why its use is on the increase. However, it also comes with a number of security issues that SMBs are concerned about. Storing your data in the cloud means that you’re not in control of it anymore, so it’s pretty hard to trust a third party with your most valuable information. The first risk is that detecting unauthorised access become harder once your data in stored in the cloud. On premise, there is a natural boundary against unauthorised access which is the need to be physically present in the office to access the data. For remote employees or partners, access can be restricted to specific devices only. Once your data is stored in the cloud, it can be accessed from anywhere in the world and on any device, greatly increasing the chance of unauthorised access. The second risk is that it’s much easier for leaving employees to steal data before they go and much harder for the IT team to detect or stop it. Indeed , when stored on the physical desktop computer it is much easier to spot an employee stealing data. Cloud storage makes it easy for leaving employees to steal information before they go. The third risk concerns hybrid storage environment (mix of on premise and cloud storage). This kind of environment increases productivity but makes managing the security of the data stored across multiple environments very difficult. According to a recent research , 56% of SMBs say that it’s difficult managing the security of data living in hybrid infrastructures. And the attitude towards Cloud Storage is not helping According to the same research, many organisations consider their own data to be more valuable than that of their clients. This is very worrying considering third-party and insider breaches are on the rise. This attitude will worry those that operate with large and complex supply chains given the lack of control over data security once it lives on third-party systems. Furthermore, many organisations are using a mixture of on-premises and cloud storage systems, and they are struggling to manage the security of data — either their clients’ or their own. 45% of SMBs said that moving to the cloud for storage has damaged their security and 59% believe that the native security controls of cloud storage providers are not strong enough to protect their data. Despite that, 90% are simply relying on the native security of whichever cloud storage provider they’re using and only 10% are using third party cloud file monitoring tool to prevent unauthorised access to sensitive files. There is a need for a more efficient way to ensure data in the cloud remains safe. Moving to the cloud does not diminish an organisation’s need to secure access to and usage of file data. What can you do to secure your data? The attitude of ‘my data is more important than yours’ needs to change. Many organisations share a lot of sensitive data with their clients over email and via the cloud — and with the rise of supply chain attacks, all it takes is one mishap from one supplier to compromise your data. Nowadays, organisations consider the cybersecurity of their partners before choosing to work with them. It is therefore vital that organisations can prove that they can keep their clients’ data safe. There is a way to ensure that your data is protected whether it’s in the cloud or on a mixture of on-premise and cloud, and it is to invest in technology that proactively tracks, audits and reports on all access to files and folders and alerts IT teams to suspicious file activity the moment it occurs. If you have a solution in place that provides a consistent view of the security of your data across all your storage servers — whether on-premises or on a third-party cloud system — you can rest assured that if someone other than an authorized employee attempts to access your data, you’ll be the first to know about it and therefore, be able to do something about it. More and more companies are now using cloud storage. Using the cloud for your storage does affect the security of your data, but how? 61% of SMBs believe their data in unsafe in the cloud, why? And what can they do about it? About the Author François Amigorena is the founder and CEO of IS Decisions , and an expert commentator on cybersecurity issues. IS Decisions is a provider of infrastructure and security management software solutions for Microsoft Windows and Active Directory. The company offers solutions for user-access control, file auditing, server and desktop reporting, and remote installations. Its customers include the FBI, the US Air Force, the United Nations and Barclays — each of which rely on IS Decisions to prevent security breaches; ensure compliance with major regulations; such as SOX and FISMA; quickly respond to IT emergencies; and save time and money for the IT department.