Security vs SaaS: The SMB Dilemma

28 Mar 2016

As the SMB marketplace evolves and becomes more competitive, businesses are looking for ways to reduce costs, improve worker productivity, and create new, sustainable business models that not only protect their existing customer base from being encroached on by competitors but also drive net-new customer recruitment. These market dynamics are forcing businesses to consider cloud based solutions as the answer. Are SaaS solutions the right answer for your business?

Probably, but here are some things you need to consider:

  • Do your homework. This sounds like a duh. However, many partners I have spoken to over the last year have jumped head-first into SaaS without fully evaluating the model. Here are some questions you need to answer.
  • Who are your customers? Are they cloud-adverse?
  • What is your current cost structure?
  • What are your competitors doing?
  • Is your IT team at capacity workload?

The security industry is also incredibly dynamic as well.  With the proliferation of BYOD, workers are forcing companies to adopt mobile-friendly platforms that provide access to important and sensitive data from anywhere, at any time. Mistakenly, some SMB businesses are opting to go with the embedded security within SaaS solutions to help reduce costs. Thus, the SMB Dilemma: trying to implement SaaS solutions while reducing security costs. This could be a no-no. Adoption of SaaS services shouldn’t be followed by a decrease in the budget for information security technology and services. IDC’s recent Cyber Threat Survey of more than 300 security practitioners found that despite the adoption of SaaS-based services that have embedded security capabilities, 53 percent of those surveyed said their budget for security increased by 25 percent or more. Not having additional security is like Luke Skywalker without the Force. It leaves you vulnerable to Darth Vader and the Dark Side.

Ransomware, phishing, and other cyber-attacks continue to evolve. The threat ecosystem is comprised of criminals with global networks successfully able to prey on companies with unsophisticated security solutions. In addition, your workforce also could be a source for data breaches. File sharing accounts have become vulnerable to account hijacking. Depending on your threat detection capabilities and your corporate policies, it could take weeks before the threat is discovered. And by then its too late. Poof. Gone in an instance.

So in conclusion, you have decided to move forward with a SaaS solution (you have done your homework above, and it’s the right decision). Your next question should be how do I not suffer from the SMB dilemma?

  • Stay apprised. Once you decide on a security solution, make sure you stay updated on the latest cyber threats and determine what your solution covers and what it doesn’t.
  • ABB: Always Be Backing Up and build a recovery plan.
  • Security Guidelines: if you have remote workers and/or allow BYOD, make sure your employees understand and fully adhere to your corporate guidelines.