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Migration to the cloud to ensure datasecurity

INSIGHT ARTICLE  | 

In the middle market, the cloud offers an invaluable solution to gain more control over data, helping companies to understand how much data they have and where exactly it resides. However, in addition to better efficency and access to data, middle market companies are also transitioning information and applications to the cloud to enhance security. The cloud offers several storage options, many with more extensive security capabilities than typical middle market companies have access to.

“Cloud solutions have a variety of packages and components,” said RSM Principal Ken Stasiak. “Like anything, companies must make sure that they understand what is turned on, and what is being used by selected cloud services.”

Daimon Geopfert, RSM Principal, described the importance of implementing accurate security measures when moving to the cloud. “Cloud solutions can often simplify security configuration, monitoring and even compliance, but like any technology, companies need to understand how to deploy these solutions in a secure manner,” he detailed. “Organizations tend to move onto these platforms without fully understanding what they are getting themselves into, and several large data breaches have been a result of simple misconfigurations within cloud solutions.“

RSM MMBI data continues to show the gradual shift of middle market data to the cloud to strengthen security. The report shows that 42% of businesses moved or migrated data to the cloud as a result of security concerns, a 4% increase from last year’s data. An increasing number of larger organizations are moving to the cloud because of security than smaller organizations - 56% compared to 30%.

Middle market executives are largely comfortable with their data residing in the cloud, although confidence has slightly slipped compared to 2019 data. Among middle market executives reporting moving data to the cloud for security concerns, 90% believe the data residing in the cloud is more secure. This represents a 4% drop from last year’s survey.

Stasiak provided a quick tip for companies to potentially increase confidence in cloud solutions. ”Organizations should include cloud providers in their incident response program. If the provider has an incident, do companies have the ability to engage and respond to potential effects to their data?”

Another key reason middle market organizations move to the cloud is for cost savings, as hosting companies often offer more affordable storage options because of capacity and economies of scale. For example, the survey found that 27% of middle market executives who moved data to the cloud for security concerns indicated that the solution is less expensive, a 3% decrease from last year’s data.

While the cloud can provide significant benefits, middle market companies must be careful when selecting a cloud provider. Organizations should go
through a thorough due diligence process on potential providers to confirm that their security capabilities and access levels match demands. At the end of the day, the company that owns the data is still responsible if a breach occurs, and incidents in the cloud can be more difficult to remediate.

“Companies must ensure that cloud providers are enrolled in their third-party vendor management program, and are following their guidance on how to protect the data they are storing,” commented Stasiak.

Beyond the cloud, a growing number of middle market companies are considering adding blockchain technology to enhance their security and privacy efforts. The RSM MMBI survey found that 29% of respondents are pursuing blockchain technology solutions to ensure security or privacy of data, a 7% increase from a year ago. More of the larger middle market organizations are evaluating blockchain than smaller peers - 47% compared to 15%.

The cloud and blockchain provide innovative options for middle market organizations to store data more securely than on-premise solutions. However, organizations must be careful when selecting providers to ensure that potential platforms match security demands, and do not result in additional gaps or vulnerabilities.

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