Guest Column | February 8, 2021

Cloud Storage Protection Is A Top Priority For MSPs

By Fran├žois Amigorena, IS Decisions


The recent increase in remote working around the world has made cloud storage services extremely important for companies. However, our study shows that this poses security challenges for small and midsized enterprises (SMEs) and an important opportunity for MSPs.

The Security Challenges Of Cloud Storage

More and more valuable data is getting stored in the cloud. Those that don’t take advantage of its benefits are ultimately shooting themselves in the productivity foot, but the lack of ownership and control makes it hard to ensure data security.

Cyber-threats which usually target on-premise resources such as ransomware, identity theft, and data exfiltration are also becoming a growing problem for cloud storage platforms. As businesses continue to shift resources to the cloud, the need to address these security challenges is a major concern.

Added to this is the difficulty of managing the security of both on-premise and cloud storage in a hybrid environment. A mix of existing IT infrastructure and public cloud provides the ‘right-choice’ for many businesses, but privacy, compliance, and security concerns soon arise.

SMEs are particularly easy targets because they do not have the expertise and resources to effectively secure their cloud deployments, and this is where MSP expertise can help.

SMEs Don’t Believe Their Data In The Cloud Is Safe

Although the benefits of the cloud could not be clearer, our research highlights that 61% of SMEs still believe that their data is not safe in the cloud and 60% have had unpleasant problems migrating their data to the cloud.

What’s driving these perceptions? Our research has identified three important points:

  1. Unauthorized access is harder to detect. With data stored on-premise, there is a need to be physically present in the office to access these files creating a natural barrier from outside the organization. Moreover, IT can restrict access only to specific devices. With cloud-based storage, data can be accessed from anywhere in the world and on any device, greatly increasing the likelihood of unauthorized access.
  2. Data theft from employees who are leaving is harder to stop or prevent. For the same reasons, it is much easier to spot an employee stealing valuable information when it is stored on the physical desktop computer. Cloud storage makes it very easy for employees to steal data before they leave.
  3. Organizations are still suffering breaches. Since moving to the cloud, 29% of organizations have suffered a breach of files or folders stored in the cloud and the consequences of breaches have been incredibly damaging. 15% say they have suffered significant reputational damage because of unauthorized access to sensitive corporate data stored on cloud networks.

MSPs Must Seize This Opportunity

With the complexity of cloud security increasing every day, the opportunities for the know-how of MSPs are also increasing. “Last year SaaS protection was our fastest-growing offering”, says Kevin Damghani, Chief Engineer at IT Partners an MSP from the US.

This growth opportunity represents a particularly exciting moment for MSPs. As more and more clients move to the cloud, MSPs need to provide the multi-layered security solutions required to keep their data secure. Without a security offering, MSPs miss out on a big market and do their clients wrong by compromising their data.

Data Protection Starts With File Access Auditing

File access is at the heart of data protection. Files and folders remain the first attack option[1]. Unchecked access to files and folders puts businesses at risk of theft, alteration, or the deletion of valuable data. Prohibiting any unauthorized access is what makes data protection possible.

Agentless, remote, and non-intrusive, FileAudit provides a simple but robust tool for monitoring, auditing, and alerting on all-access, and access attempts, to files, folders, and file shares located on cloud storage platforms and the Windows environment. And with its new MSP console, MSPs can now manage all their customer’s licenses from one single platform and access ‘pay-as-you-go’ monthly billing, self-service sign-up, and aggregate pricing.

About The Author

François Amigorena is the founder and CEO of IS Decisions and an expert commentator on cybersecurity issues. IS Decisions software makes it easy to protect against unauthorized access to networks and the sensitive files within. Its customers include the FBI, the U.S. 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.

[1] Varonis 2019 Global Data Risk Repor