You might wonder if now is the right time for your small business to turn to cloud computing for all your data storage needs.
While you’ll find many benefits with cloud computing, you might also have concerns over potential security issues. Fortunately, you can embrace the advantages of cloud computing and managed siem while still keeping your small business and your customers’ private information safe.
Look into ideas such as hybrid cloud computing, which costs less money and gives similar advantages to companies. You’ll still gain the safety net of a third-party provider, but for a fraction of the cost.
Here are some things to keep in mind when considering whether cloud computing is a secure option for your small business.
1. Train your workers to identify attacks.
Phishing usually starts with an email made to look as though it’s from an official source.
Teach your staff to go directly to a website and never click on links within an email. You can significantly reduce social engineering attacks by training your workers to recognize them.
Phishing can also look like an email from someone higher up in a company, but will actually be from someone trying to gain access to accounts. It’s always best to double-check requests for passwords or personal information by calling the other employee directly.
According to Verizon’s 2021 Data Breach Investigations Report, approximately 36% of breaches come from phishing attacks. Phishing is quite avoidable if you train your workers to recognize and avoid it.
2. Install virus and malware protection.
Make sure every device used by your company or its employees – even remote workers – has the latest virus and malware protection installed.
One of the biggest threats to the computing safety of your small business is workers not protecting their accounts. Hackers can do a lot of mischief if they get their hands on login credentials.
Make sure any device used to access accounts has protection installed. Remote workers may need to go through IT to ensure they add two-factor authentication and install all available software.
Companies should provide protection and follow up frequently to be sure it gets installed and updated properly.
3. Insist on strong passwords.
One way people allow hackers into their accounts is by reusing passwords, not changing them frequently, or using easy-to-guess combinations.
At a minimum, you should change all your business passwords every few months, including any passwords to cloud computing software.
Encourage employees to use passwords that aren’t easy to guess and contain lowercase letters, capitals, numbers, and characters.
Don’t forget to watch the passwords you use for software as a service (SaaS) applications. A company with under 500 employees uses as many as 123 different SaaS apps.
For example, if you use several different websites for various tasks, make sure you change passwords when an employee leaves or you terminate them. Not keeping up with passwords opens your business to vulnerabilities.
4. Set clear security policies.
Avoid confusion over security protocols by setting some policies.
What happens to customer data when you no longer need it? How often do you change passwords? Are there tiers to data access?
Figure out what works best for your organization and set the rules. This helps current and future employees know what’s expected of them.
5. Comply with all applicable laws.
Know the rules surrounding data protection.
For example, if some of your customers reside in the European Union (EU), you fall under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and must comply with the rules or face fines.
States such as California have similar standards. Your state and local governments may vary, so be sure to check any applicable laws.
You also must comply with laws in areas where your out-of-state customers reside.
6. Set a budget.
McKinsey & Company recently noted most companies plan to have $8 of every $10 in their IT hosting budget go toward cloud hosting by 2024.
The pandemic brought many companies online with cloud access for remote workers they weren’t planning to implement yet.
The increase in data means an increase in online criminal activity.
So, is cloud computing safe for your small business? The answer isn’t always the same, but most cloud hosting providers invest quite a bit of money into the most recent security measures possible.
It’s likely as safe as any other method of storing data, short of keeping information only on paper, which isn’t practical. Set a budget that meets your company’s goals. You can always increase it if you feel your data isn’t safe enough.
Is cloud computing safe or not?
Cloud computing is as safe as any other form of digital data storage.
You should ensure any companies you hire have the latest in safety standards and security. Take steps to protect your information, such as training employees and frequently changing passwords.
With some good security practices and awareness, it’s much less likely that you’ll face a data breach.