Why Serverless Backups Are A Boon to Small & Medium-Sized Businesses?

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) face challenges regarding storage cost, as the number of virtualized servers continues to grow. Backing up these servers and protecting them becomes a hassled task for these businesses, owing to their limited budgets. The only exit to this maze is serverless backups, whose adoption is on an upwards spiral.

Cost of backup servers for small & medium sized businesses relies on myriad variables, which include

  • Backup software wherein the cost changes based on the license purchased and the vendor that it is purchased from.
  • Random Access Memory involves the amount of physical memory that they have.
  • The generation, type, compute capacity, etc. of the processor.
  • Integrated data services such as asynchronous replication, volume encryption, or deduplication.
  • Drives and whether they have SSDs, SAS, or SATA.
  • The number of terabytes of data that can be stored.

The protection of the data also remains as essential, as it is an integral part of virtual servers’ images. Also, the physical server’s metadata that identifies the relationship of the virtual server with the networked storage needs protection. The most difficult situation that the SMBs face here is to choose from various virtual server backup options.

Serverless Backups is the Viable Solution

It is the process of data backup wherein the data and files are saved without using computer servers. Various organizations are adopting serverless backup strategies in today’s business landscape, which is dominated by virtual cloud hosts and wireless technology. Analogous to server-free backup, the serverless backups rid SMBs from the hassles of physical storage capacity. This hints at the obsoletion of restoring server towers and the rise of cloud storage for small and medium sized business as the only feasible backup utility.

Data security and protection in serverless backups are unmatched, unlike the individual tower servers. Some of the best security software is integrated into a centralized backup server, which keeps the data protected and secured from potential cyberattacks. As cloud adoption continues to grow, the demand for security increases in parallel. 

Cloud service providers (CSPs) emphasize on the physical and data-level security of their cloud platforms through huge investments. Security is as imperative for CSPs as it is for businesses to ensure that the data isn’t corrupted, lost from the servers, or maliciously accessed. These aspects make serverless backups the most feasible option of SMBs.

SMBs Consider Using A Combination Of Methods

A one-size-fits-all solution doesn’t exist, when dealing with large amounts of data. Businesses consider configuring virtual machines to leverage raw data wherein the virtual machine is actually mapping to storage resources. This has opened up the flexibility for businesses with limited budgets to user serverless backups. 

Serverless backups are a cost-effective solution for SMBs, helping them save on infrastructure, maintaining physical servers, and equating most of them to zero. These costs are replaced with the cloud’s pay-per-usage model. 

The only issue with serverless backups is the absence of an effective, complete restore function for complementing it. However, with an increasing number of businesses running data backups on SANs, serverless backups are the only logical step to be taken next, particularly for the SMBs.

Agile Innovation with Security is Critical to Digital Transformation

Digital transformation is all about the pace at which it evolves. Cloud computing, being a key driver of digital transformation, has speedily become a part of business strategies. Although more than a decade has passed since the cloud has been increasingly being deployed as a preferred computing platform, organizations still struggle to maintain a balance between innovation and security.

Organizations continue to outsource their IT workloads to CSPs while looking to leverage IoT systems. Speedy transformation drives innovation agility. However, this results in numerous vulnerable attack vectors that are sought out by threat actors, which eventually leads to exploitation. How to balance fast innovation with continued security? This is one of the most pressing challenges being faced by organizations and CSPs alike.

Agile Innovation – Benefits and Backdrops

At present, organizations depend on applications developed rapidly through a mix and match of modular code snippets, known in the IT world as microservices. These are usually put into a software container, which can be spun up by many on virtual cloud servers in a moment’s notice. Also, they can be taken down as quickly as they were deployed through APIs, which bind everything together. API deployments have witnessed an exponential expansion, which, on the other hand, has also caused challenges to visibility.

Organizations, in the race of digital transformation, have been losing sight of every API they use to bind their digital services together. The flip side of the coin is that these wide-open APIs are a potent territory for cyberattacks. With constant changes in the applications, the containers with the servers act as a huge net of complexities. To get clear visibility into the containers has become critically imperative for organizations, as these are the greatest source for communication inside the servers.

Only by having new, powerful security solutions in place can shield these containers and APIs against cyberattacks. However, such security solutions are still in their first stages of development. New detection technologies are emerging, which are capable of detecting & responding to cyberattacks across hybrid cloud platforms with sheer accuracy.

Not Taking Risks is A Huge Risk Too

A wealth of new services and business models can be potentially unlocked by advances in digital technology. Digital transformation builds on trust, which further concludes on cybersecurity’s essentiality. As stringent regulations are increasingly enforced, ensuring a secure digital transformation becomes more of a legal task.

While perceived security risks exist in the digital transformation journey, it is still better for organizations than taking no risk at all and remaining behind the competition curve. The tremendous opportunity lies for organizations who focus on maturing their cybersecurity posture as part of their transformation process. Strategic thinking circling security is a must-have for organizations, to reap risk-free rewards. While a digital transformation strategy must boost efficiency and drive revenue, it must also increase trust and be secure. 
In this ever more connected world and increasingly growing sophisticated technologies, the landscape of cyberthreat only grows to be more complex everyday. However, organizations do not need to face all of this alone. CSPs are coming forward with win-win solutions to security technologies in this thriving outsourcing marketplace.

What is the Need for Cloud Security Standards?

Cloud based services have become an integral part of several organizations, with technology providers adhering to privacy and data security norms for ensuring the confidentiality of user data. Although efforts are being taken to develop cloud security standards, CSPs are implementing a blend of privacy and security controls. This has created confusion among users in terms of the security measures that they expect from their providers.

The adoption of the cloud is estimated to see a continued upward spiral in the foreseeable future. However, organizations are still wary of cloud computing as an accurate delivery environment for their applications. The most dominant concern among them is security. The question that crawls upon the minds of businesses is if their sensitive data is secure in the cloud and the ways they can employ on-demand services while maintaining industry and regulatory compliance.

What are Cloud Security Standards?

Cloud security standards refer to a set of guidelines, protocols, and best practices designed to safeguard data, applications, and infrastructure hosted in cloud environments. These standards serve as a framework for organizations to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of their digital assets in the cloud. They encompass a wide range of security measures, including data encryption, access control, identity and authentication management, and threat detection and response protocols.

Prominent cloud security standards and frameworks include ISO 27001, NIST Cybersecurity Framework, CSA’s Cloud Controls Matrix, and FedRAMP, among others. Adhering to these standards not only helps organizations protect sensitive information but also fosters trust between cloud service providers and their customers, as it demonstrates a commitment to maintaining a robust security posture in an increasingly interconnected digital landscape.

Lack of Cloud Security Standards and Its Consequences

The organizations are right about their concerns in ramming into the cloud without any protection in place. This porous nature of the cloud becomes an attractive target for cyberattacks. The virtual nature of the cloud journey further makes securing on-demand environments a complicated process. There is no proper definition as such for effective cloud security posture.

The lack of effective cloud security standards has made enterprises and CSPs to stumble while depending on a ceaseless list of auditing specifications, regulatory requirements, industry mandates, and data center standards to offer guidance on protecting their cloud environments. This has made cloud security alliance more complicated than it seems to be and this disjointed approach does not qualify for ‘good security’.

There is a dire need for enterprises and providers to concentrate on core aspects of cloud security, such as identity & access management, virtualization, security, data privacy, and content security. The industry must also keep track of the developments in cloud security services brought by the NIST as the base to protect the possible emergence of critical business workloads in the cloud.

A Quick Look at Cloud Security Standards Best Practices

There are a number of best practices of cloud security that organizations can adhere to amidst expanding workloads in their respective cloud environments. Although these best practices have no foundation as such, it has been observed that following them can safeguard data in cloud environments. CSPs (Cloud Service Providers) use the shared responsibility model to maintain security and accept the responsibility for some security aspects. Other aspects are shared between the organization and the CSP or just solely remain the organization’s responsibility. Some of the key best practices for cloud security are explained below.

Performing Due Diligence

It is imperative for the cloud users to understand their applications and networks completely. This is for determining the way of providing functionality, security and resilience to the cloud-deployed systems. Due diligence should be performed across the systems’ and applications’ lifecycle that are being deployed in the cloud. This due diligence involves planning, operations, development, deployment and decommissioning.

Access Management

Organizations need to maintain complete control over their encryption keys. Three capabilities are a must-have in access management. These capabilities include:

  • The ability to identify & authenticate users
  • The ability to assign access rights to users
  • The ability to develop and enact access control policies for all resources

Data Protection

There are three separate challenges involved in data protection, which go beyond access controls. These are

  • Data protection against unauthorized access
  • To ensure ceaseless access to crucial data in the case of failures and errors
  • Prevention of the accidental data disclosure, which was presumably deleted

Monitoring and Safeguarding

The responsibilities of CSPs and consumers for monitoring the cloud-deployed systems and applications are divided. The CSPs are responsible for monitoring the services and infrastructure offered to consumers, but not for monitoring application security and systems created by consumers using provided services. Consumers need to design & implement additional monitoring carefully, ensuring that it is completely integrated with cloud automation and is capable of being scaled up or down devoid of manual intervention.

Looking At The Prospects

The developments made by the regulatory bodies as well as organizations point the CSPs and cloud users in the right direction. They lay the groundwork for a stable and secure cloud computing environment. The incidents in cloud security services observed in the past couple of years show that mishaps could have been avoided if right security tools were used by consumers. For example, using properly configured access control, multi-factor authentication provided by CSPs, and precise encryption of data. It is believed that, for SMEs, approaching well-established CSPs will help reduce the risks associated with moving data and applications to the cloud.

Top 10 Cloud Security Standards & Control Framework

For identifying and responding to network threats, refers to security standards and organizational norms. Furthermore, a cloud security framework lays out the policies, tools, configurations, and procedures that must be followed to keep a cloud platform secure. 

Some Cloud Security Standards are explained below:

1. ISO-27001 / ISO-27002:

Someone must have encountered ISO-27001 when it comes to information security needs. As, ISO-27001 holds identification for Information Security Management System (ISMS). This is useful when the project is in its starting phase or if you can’t commit to full implementation of the project. 

Furthermore, ISO-27002 defines control which is put in observation with IS0-27001. By adhering to the ISO-27002, it exhibits that the organization follows information security seriously and is eligible to do best practices to secure data.

2. ISO-27017

ISO/IEC-27017 provides guidelines for Cloud Security that can help organizations approach Cloud Security more systematically and dependably. Further, ISO-27017 is a security standard established for cloud service providers and consumers with the goal of reducing the risk of a security incident in the cloud.

In addition, it is also a standard for cloud-based organizations that helps with control recommendations and implementation. This is true for organizations that store data in the cloud and companies that provide cloud-based services to other companies that may have sensitive data.

3. ISO-27018

ISO-27018 is used to protect personally identifiable information (PII) in the communal cloud as PII processors. It follows all the principles of ISO/IEC-29100 for cloud computing environments in public. Moreover, ISO-27018 can also be applied to any type and size of organization: public or private, government organization, or not-for-profit organizations.

The instructions in ISO-27018 are also applicable to PII-controlled organizations. Nevertheless, PII controllers can be hinged to protection legislation, regulations, and obligations. However, these are not applicable to PII processors.

4. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 

The GDPR condition is enforced on every member of the European Union(EU). It’s objective is to build undeviating protection of consumer data all across European union members. Conditions of GDPR in data protection and privacy are:

  1. Whenever a data breach occurs in the system, it must be notified in a specific period.
  2. Cautiously handling data whenever there is an exchange through borders.

It is essential to consider that any market or company collaborating with the EU is subject to its rule. This reason makes the EU have an impact all over the world in terms of data protection. 

5. System and Organisation Controls (SOC) Reporting 

SOC (System and Organization Controls) reporting gives inclusive assurance (SOC 1, SOC 2, SOC 2+ and SOC 3) to users about transparency and trust issues on risk management. Developing SOC ensures that they apply the proper rules and controls and only share vital information with stakeholders. Furthermore, SOC reports provide suggestions to improvise on some specific areas and identify gaps that are lagging with potential.

6. Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) 

Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard is a security of information that only applies to the organization that handles significant card schemes. It is a set of requirements to certify that all companies with access to a process which collect and transmit credit card information have to maintain a secure environment.

7. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) 

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)  is the United States constitution that facilitates security services to safeguard medical information and maintain data privacy. This law came into the picture when many health-related data were being hacked and ransomware attacks were seen by providers.  

8. CIS AWS Foundations v1.2 

By following the CIS AWS Foundations Benchmark, any firm that uses Amazon Web Service cloud resources can help protect sensitive IT systems and data.

The CIS (Center for Internet Security) Benchmarks are a set of objective, consensus-driven configuration criteria created by intelligence analysts to assist enterprises in optimizing their information security. In addition, CIS protocols are for strengthening AWS accounts to create a stable base for executing jobs on AWS.

9. CIS Controls Top 20 

The Top 20 Controls (formerly known as the SANS Top 20 Critical Security Controls) is a prioritized list of the best-organized plan by the Center for Internet Security (CIS) to combat today’s most ubiquitous and severe threats. It was created by top security professionals from across the world and is updated and validated annually. Using the CIS top 20 key security protocols is an excellent method to shield your company against the most common threats.

10. ACSC Essential Eight 

The ACSC Essential 8 (a widespread ASD Top 4) lists eight cybersecurity mitigation techniques for businesses and large companies.

The Essential eight tactics were established by the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) in collaboration with the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) to tighten security controls, safeguard organizations’ computer resources and systems, to keep data safe from cybersecurity threats.

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Challenges in the Path to IAM Modernization for Cloud Applications

IAM Modernization is the process of updating existing identity and access management (IAM) systems to meet the changing needs of an organization. It involves a range of challenges, from enhancing security and compliance to streamlining user experience and more.

There is a palpable struggle among organizations globally in modernizing their identity and access management (IAM) with cloud-based platforms. This can be attributed in part to the growing cost of operations and maintenance of legacy IAM systems. These legacy systems inhibit workplace productivity for both business users as well as the IT and security staff.

However, this has translated into growing trust in the implementation of the Identity-as-a-service (IDaaS). And this is a prevalent scenario for most organizations around the world. According to a study by Forrester, IDaaS will grow at approximately 15% CAGR through 2023, as an increasing number of businesses seek the leverage of cloud computing.

Key Challenges to Modernizing IAM

Modernization of an IAM program is a complicated process for businesses of all sizes. Untangling the mess of debts from customizations and maintenance to run on-premises deployed solutions needs some heavy lifting while migrating to a modern platform. For this, the organizations must ensure their users get seamless access to the right resources for the right reasons at the right time. Below are some of the challenges encountered in the path to modernizing IAM.

Gaps in the Strategy

An IAM platform modernization needs a road map and strategy that involve an optimal deployment model and architecture for an organization’s cloud applications. Understanding how the program aligns with the business objectives is the primary step while considering applicable compliances and the way they factor into the strategy. Business users demand quick and facilitated access to resources.

However, moving away from the legacy systems to the cloud while managing access to applications and data in the new cloud platform is a challenging task. The roadmap and strategy must bond with an end-to-end tactic for migrating and managing workloads of IAM from legacy systems to the cloud.

Inefficient Cooperation with Business Stakeholders

An organization’s stakeholders must completely align for establishing a decree on their strategy. This includes business managers and IT executives. Understanding the interests and priorities of stakeholders throughout the modernization project is crucially essential. It is imperative that organizations understand the needs of their team members, technology and process involved in accomplishing the said objectives and outcomes. Also, on an ongoing basis, ensuring that stakeholders understand the IAM modernization’s business benefits is indispensable.

Absence of Skilled Resources

Maintaining the tools and several point solutions in a legacy system is an expensive task and burdensome too. Resources are increasingly overwhelmed while managing help desk requests, changes to access rights, password resets and user onboarding & offboarding. To upkeep legacy, IAM applications are time-intensive, which leads organizations to explore the cloud-based system. However, managing the modern cloud-native AIM system needs extensive training and enablement on relevant processes.

Legacy Systems

Many organizations have legacy IAM systems that were implemented years ago and are now outdated. These systems may not be able to keep up with modern threats and may not be compatible with newer technologies such as cloud computing. Updating these legacy systems can be a significant challenge, as it may require a complete overhaul of the IAM infrastructure.

Integration with New Technologies

As organizations adopt new technologies, such as cloud computing and mobile devices, their IAM systems must be able to integrate with these new technologies. This can be a challenge, as many legacy IAM systems were not designed with these new technologies in mind. Organizations must ensure that their IAM systems can integrate seamlessly with these new technologies to maintain a strong security posture.

User Experience

IAM systems must strike a balance between security and usability. A system that is too cumbersome and difficult to use may lead to users circumventing security measures, which can increase the risk of a data breach. However, a system that is too easy to use may not provide adequate security. Modern IAM systems must provide a user-friendly experience while maintaining a strong security posture.


Modern IAM systems are becoming increasingly complex. They may involve multiple authentication factors, such as biometrics and smart cards, as well as policies and rules to manage access to sensitive data. Managing these systems can be a challenge, particularly for organizations with limited resources.

Data Governance

IAM systems are responsible for managing access to sensitive data, which means they must also address data governance issues. This includes ensuring that data is classified appropriately and that access to data is based on business needs. Organizations must ensure that their IAM systems are designed to support data governance policies and procedures.

In conclusion, IAM modernization is essential for organizations to keep up with changing threats and business needs. However, modernizing IAM systems comes with its challenges, including legacy systems, integration with new technologies, user experience, complexity, and data governance. Organizations must address these challenges to ensure that their IAM systems remain effective in protecting sensitive data and systems from unauthorized access.

How to Address These Challenges?

Addressing the aforementioned challenges while acquiring necessary skills and knowledge for a successful transition to the modern, cloud-native IAM solution is making organizations approach professional service providers. These services help organizations in migrating away from legacy systems to the cloud. Most organizations are making significant investments in building new, modernized IAM platforms to meet the digital transformation requirements. This, as well as to acquire new skills, insights, and experiences that are designed for business growth.

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