Google Workspace and the Advantages of Cloud Security

We’re only a few months into the year and it already looks like breach fatigue has taken hold. The latest breach to hit the headlines is the Microsoft Exchange hack and the potential exposure of more than 60,000 organizations, a figure that keeps climbing as the investigation marches on.

The Microsoft attack is interesting not only in its massive scale, but also because it resurfaces old discussions about on-prem versus cloud security, and where modern solutions such as Google Workspace can help businesses avoid becoming a breach statistic. With the innovative features available in today’s cloud technologies, it’s time to rethink the use of on-prem for critical workloads and applications.

The recent Solar Winds incident spanned large numbers of victims due to the platform’s sprawling footprint. In this case, the scope of the Exchange breach has grown as the result of automation and exploitation by multiple advanced persistent threat (APT) groups targeting unpatched servers. Even with a clear threat looming, many enterprises were still slow to act and 10 days after patches became available Microsoft said about 20% of online-facing servers remained unpatched and vulnerable. Those businesses are now left with remediation—expensive, time consuming and disruptive—as their only option.

The argument for maintaining on-prem assets has been going on for years and largely centers on enterprises’ desire to control their environments. When given the option to relinquish hands-on mastery over access to and administration of the company’s servers in favor of a migration to the cloud, some organizations said, “No thanks,” opting instead to keep their assets where they could see, touch and control them.

Now we’re seeing the downside of that on-prem mindset and the chasm that exists between controlling a network and protecting it.

Now we’re seeing the downside of that on-prem mindset and the chasm that exists between controlling a network and protecting it.

What Does Cloud-based Protection Offer Over Traditional On-prem?

1. Prioritize Patches Without Adding Staff


Administering network resources occupies IT staffers day in and day out. Trying to keep up with security risk assessments and new patch releases, particularly as the number of systems expands and integrations increase is another set of tasks added to the list. Network admins must often juggle what to complete today and what to tackle tomorrow. For as much as breaches seem to be everywhere, delaying a patch for a few days (or weeks, or even months) hasn’t usually resulted in a breach. But that thinking is increasingly risky in a world where systems, applications, devices and users are constantly connected. Today might be the day a key vulnerability comes to light and hackers set their sights on the crack in your on-prem armor. Organizations running Exchange Server in their data centers are facing that concern right now, and the ballooning number of victims highlights how many unpatched systems still exist.

Unlike the early days, when off-prem assets were viewed with a skeptical eye by security-minded IT pros, leading cloud services now offer the ability to reduce your attack surface and boost your defenses. Implementation of a highly developed platform such as Google Workspace tightens your security posture even further.

2. Leverage World-class Cloud Security Expertise

cloud security womanShifting the never-ending list of security fixes, upgrades and enhancements off your in-house team’s shoulders and onto your cloud provider enables your IT staff to focus on delivering more value to your organization while also improving security. You no longer need to maintain day-to-day awareness of emerging threats or spend time applying processes and technologies to combat them. The right partnership also gives you access to a deeper level of security expertise to help protect your network than what is available in a typical IT department.

Google, for example, has one of the most experienced and knowledgeable cloud security teams in the industry. Their expertise ranges from regulatory requirements across nearly every vertical to best practices to the application of enhanced monitoring and protective technologies. The security horsepower behind Google Workspace far exceeds what most companies want to support in-house.

3. Build Out a More Robust Security Strategy


Proactive capabilities are also an important component in any security strategy. The combination of two-factor authentication and machine learning-based threat detection, coupled with powerful vulnerability management and security review processes, means your Google Workspace security posture is not only strong today, but will remain a potent protective force as the cybersecurity risk landscape continues to evolve. Because new feature rollouts and the implementation of advanced functionalities are handled as part of your cloud solution instead of being one more task on your internal team’s list, you gain peace of mind knowing your security measures are continuously aligned with the threat landscape.

4. Get Better Value from Cloud With Additional Security Support

Migration to the cloud gives businesses access to other important services, too, few of which are available with on-prem architectures. Notifications of new breaches and security threats keep rolling in, but your business doesn’t need to face these challenges alone. The security capabilities of cloud solutions such as Google Workspace are a smart alternative to administration-heavy on-prem systems and a way to tap into top-tier security expertise without consuming your internal team’s time.

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Meet the Author

Kevin Verde, Manager, Collaboration and Productivity Solutions

Kevin Verde, Manager, Collaboration and Productivity Solutions

As a Manager for Onix's Collaboration and Productivity Solutions, Kevin serves as a cloud evangelist by promoting better ways to work both in a brick-and-mortar office and remotely using cloud collaboration tools. He boasts a dual US/EU citizenship and spent four years of his career living and working in Madrid. He also is an advisor for House of Genius ( a non-profit think tank that supports entrepreneurship around the world.

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