Is the Cloud Insecure? Debunking Myths and Understanding Security Responsibilities

In the rapidly evolving digital landscape, the cloud has become synonymous with flexibility, scalability, and innovation. However, a lingering question persists in the minds of many business leaders and IT professionals: “Is the cloud insecure?” This article aims to debunk the common myths surrounding cloud security, highlight the inherent security benefits of cloud computing, and delve into the pivotal Cloud Shared Responsibility Model.

Debunking Cloud Security Myths

The notion that the cloud is inherently less secure than traditional on-premises infrastructure is a myth that persists despite evidence to the contrary. Cloud providers such as Microsoft, Amazon and Google invest heavily in security, offering features like advanced encryption, identity and access management, and comprehensive compliance certifications. These measures often surpass what organisations can implement on their own in their physical environments. Yet organisations are still making some horrific security design decisions within the cloud, why is that?

Imagine for the moment that you have access to the world’s best supermarket, with all the best food ingredients and cooking utensils. Now some people with the appropriate experience and access to the right recipes will create culinary wonders, yet others will serve up something your dog would likely turn its nose up at. Operating in the cloud is very similar, you have access to the best of bread solutions and tome upon tome of best practice and architecture guidance, yet you still need to the knowledge and experience to best utilise it.

Cloud computing brings to the table unparalleled security advantages. Scalability ensures that security measures grow with your data needs, automation reduces human error, and encryption protects data both in transit and at rest. Flexible per-user or per-time slice licensing means security controls that were cost prohibitive in traditional environments are now not only affordable, but comparatively cheap, making available a plethora of new technologies to small and medium businesses. These benefits form a robust foundation for a secure IT environment, one that is often more resilient against cyber threats than traditional setups.

The Cloud Shared Responsibility Model Explained

At the heart of cloud security is the Shared Responsibility Model, a framework that delineates what security aspects are managed by the cloud service provider and what falls under the client’s purview. For instance, while cloud providers ensure the cloud infrastructure, customers are responsible for protecting their data, applications, and access management in the case of Software as Service environments (i.e M365 or Salesforce).

If however, you want more flexibility, more control over the configuration and access to more affordable resources, you may wish to use Platform as a Service and Infrastructure as a Service components. As you move down the technology stack towards the operating systems and network cables, the greater your personal responsibility for the security of your environment.

This model emphasises that while the cloud provider secures the cloud, the security in the cloud is the responsibility of the customer. Understanding and acting upon this division of responsibilities is crucial for maintaining a secure cloud environment.

Best Practices for Organisations in the Cloud

For organisations to navigate the cloud securely, adopting best practices is non-negotiable. This includes conducting regular security assessments, managing user access meticulously, and encrypting sensitive data.

A key to doing business securely in the cloud is to leverage the cloud native manner of operating, examples include:

  • Structure your processes to best leverage the cloud’s security model, with greater user self-service and security management segmentation and the removal of the IT and security department as a bottle neck for day to data business operation.
  • Adopt or aspire to adopt Zero Trust, where you focus less on network perimeter and instead ensure your individual users and systems are secure.
  • Utilise automation, not just in incident response, but in compliance management and your build process, not only increasing response times but removing user error.
  • Review your licensing, the number or organisations that have access to a raft of security capabilities as part of their current licensing yet are not leveraging them due to being unaware is staggering.

It goes almost without saying, partnering with cybersecurity consultancies, such as Metis Security, can provide tailored assessments that pinpoint vulnerabilities and strategic advice specific to cloud environments.


The cloud is not inherently insecure. Instead, it offers a dynamic environment where security is a shared responsibility. By debunking myths, understanding the cloud’s security advantages, and following the Shared Responsibility Model, SMBs can leverage cloud solutions confidently and securely.

Is your organisation ready to embrace the cloud without compromising on security? Metis Security specialises in attack-based assessments and tailored security strategies for Microsoft cloud environments. Contact us today for a comprehensive assessment and take the first step towards a secure, cloud-enabled future.

David Morgan

Founder & Consultant

Trusted Microsoft Cloud Security Advisor with 27 years experience | Empowering Businesses to Embrace Cloud Innovation with Confidence

Skills chart of the author David Morgan, high level expertise in Cyber Security, Network Security, Azure, Microsoft 365, Penetration Testing & Breach Attack Simulation

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