If you’re clinging to legacy security software, you’re not alone - the US government is doing the same, and it’s making their employees nervous.

A recently released survey, commissioned by Google Cloud, indicates that most US government workers are “very” concerned about cyber attacks, and more than 50% believe their current systems aren’t protective enough. 

Given that 85% of US government employees use Microsoft at work, that’s not exactly a vote of confidence for the software giant, which is already on the defensive following a series of high-profile breaches in recent years. 

In August 2021, a misconfiguration in Microsoft Power Apps exposed 38 million personal records and, that same month, Microsoft’s cloud platform Azure, was hacked, exposing thousands of customer accounts.

With cyberattacks on the increase, and data protection a major concern, security should be top of mind for every business, no matter their size or sector. If you haven’t thought about your digital defenses in a while, now’s the time to strengthen your security software.

Stepping out of your comfort zone

The vast majority of US government employees primarily use Microsoft productivity software, relying on tools like Word, Outlook, and Teams instead of diversifying their tech stack. 

Rather than making them feel more secure, this one-provider-fits-all approach is making employees nervous. More than half of those surveyed in the recent poll believed this reliance on Microsoft made the federal government more vulnerable to attack and said a widespread culture of laziness is to blame. 

It’s a common pitfall. Employers get preoccupied with the daily running of the business, and updating their tech stack gradually sinks to the bottom of the ‘to-do’ list. This inertia, coupled with a reluctance to change, won’t go unnoticed for long. Today’s hackers are skilled at finding weaknesses in corporate cloud infrastructure, and relying on outdated software is the digital equivalent of leaving your door unlocked or wide open.

And when companies cling to legacy systems, they’re not just exposing themselves to unnecessary risk, they’re also doing their employees a disservice. If you’re not giving your workers the right tools for their job, they’ll quickly become dissatisfied, frustrated, and a potential security threat in themselves.

35% of DC Metro workers use ‘Shadow IT’ - systems and tools that aren’t approved by their in-house IT departments. Tired of waiting for their employers to upgrade to the latest software, these workers are adopting their own tech tools, ones that are familiar to them and effective. These ad-hoc solutions may help improve that particular employee’s productivity but they’re putting the entire organization in danger. 

Shadow IT causes chaos in your security defenses - data is spread over multiple tools and access points, passwords go unprotected, issues become difficult to identify and resolve, and accurate security audits are virtually impossible. They also expose companies to regulatory sanctions by endangering compliance.

Google vs Microsoft

Companies have to continually evolve in response to the market if they want to survive, and this forward-looking approach should be inbuilt into security protocols too. 

Microsoft may have been the most secure system on the market when you first built your firm’s tech stack, but that doesn’t mean they’re still in the top spot. In a Gartner market analysis report, Google Cloud Platform outperformed Microsoft across a number of metrics, including security and compliance. And the cloud provider has been stepping up security lately, acquiring cybersecurity firm Mandiant and expanding its partnership with CrowdStrike to better protect hybrid workspaces.

Every company is different and has a different level of risk, but cybersecurity should be an urgent consideration for anyone doing business in the cloud. You might be prepared to wait, but hackers won’t.

Moving to another provider can be intimidating, but UpCurve Cloud has worked with hundreds of clients from all industries to ensure a smooth and seamless tech transition. Our team of Google-certified engineers, trainers, and consultants can help you implement and integrate all the security tools you need for more robust protection - with minimal disruption to your business. Contact us today to find out more.

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