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Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) considering digital transformation as a business goal this year could find the idea daunting. Migrating to the cloud both unlocks new opportunities and introduces new security measures for businesses, regardless of their size.
Recent research by AWS, surveying over 800 SMB leaders worldwide, revealed several misconceptions about cloud capabilities that could be holding companies back from achieving a reliable security posture. Results showed that SMBs often view security as an expensive, complex barrier to cloud adoption that requires extensive in-house skills and infrastructure. In reality, the cloud enables SMBs to achieve a stronger security posture in a more agile, cost-effective way.
By partnering with the right provider, SMBs can automate security, support compliance, and protect their most precious assets, including data. Making security a strategic priority this year can help SMBs grow and focus their resources on other core business goals.
Myth 1: Security is too expensive for small budgets
While 35% of SMB leaders surveyed said security wasn’t a top priority, viewing security as an “extra” investment is short-sighted. Whether in the cloud or on-premises, investing in security should be an integral part of any business’ growth strategy, especially for SMBs where consequences of a breach could severely derail their business operations.
With the right partner, a secure cloud environment can actually be more cost-effective for SMBs. Cloud providers manage the security of their own infrastructure, enabling businesses to avoid the significant costs of servers and data centres. SMBs can taking advantage of the ‘pay as you go’ cloud services model for the flexibility to scale security tools up or down to meet their evolving needs. Even on a small budget, machine learning (ML)-powered tools like Amazon Fraud Detector can help provide robust security tailored to an SMB’s needs.
Myth 2: Data isn’t secure in the cloud
Half of SMB leaders surveyed expressed concerns about security risks in the cloud. While it’s true that migrating to the cloud requires a rethink of how the business operates, cloud providers like AWS provide customers with 24/7 access to their data and the scalable tools needed to help protect it. Whether an SMB sends files over email, backs up data to USB drives, or has paper files, there are several secure options to help with managing data and other important assets.
By migrating to AWS, SMBs get leading cloud infrastructure security and hundreds of the same products and services available to top banks, healthcare providers, and other highly regulated sectors. AWS customers report 43% fewer security incidents per month versus on-premises environments. SMBs enjoy the benefits of AWS’s rigorous security protocols because it is uniformly applied across small and large organisations.
Myth 3: Effective security requires extensive IT resources
Nearly 30% of SMB leaders say they don’t understand their security requirements, while 40% cite insufficient skilled staff as a key barrier. Managing security on premises can be complex, time-consuming, and resource-intensive, with constant upgrades and configurations straining limited IT budgets.
By moving to cloud, SMBs can implement automated, enterprise-grade security without hiring or upskilling an extensive IT team or security experts. Cloud providers manage the underlying infrastructure security, while providing tools SMBs can use to customize security to their needs. Solutions like AWS Security Hub provide unified visibility into an organisation’s security posture. Combined with Amazon GuardDuty, businesses can take advantage of ML-powered threat detection and initiate automated responses – all together making cloud security integrated, intelligent, and scalable. As their businesses evolve, security needs like strengthening encryption to data storage could change too. Access to certified cybersecurity experts on the AWS Partner Network can help with secure cloud migrations and developing the right security programs tailored to an SMB’s business use case.
The Bigger Picture: Growth Requires Security
Security in the cloud is about more than avoiding breaches. Shifting security management from reactive to proactive makes it a business enabler for innovation and growth, rather than a drain on resources. With a secure cloud infrastructure and access to affordable security products, services and experts, SMBs can focus time and resources on their greater purpose — growing their business.
Words by: Ben Schreiner, Head of Business Innovation for Small and Medium sized businesses (US)