Wednesday, 8 Dec 2021
Technology

7 Tips on Improving Cloud Security for Small Businesses

If your business and personal data is held in the Cloud is it safe from common cyber threats?

Last year, 28% of all cyber breaches happened to small businesses. Total SMB data infringements increased to 63%. As many small to medium-sized enterprises are turning to Cloud SaaS, this figure will only rise.

Improving cloud security should be at the top of every owner and manager’s agenda. Yet many put their head in the sand.

This article helps to address the issue by offering 7 tips on improving Cloud security for small businesses.

We discuss how multiple forms of authentication can help keep your data safe. That educating your employees and restricting their access will benefit them and you. And ensuring that Cloud providers handle your information securely.

Read on to improve your Cloud security. Before it becomes too late.

  1. Multi-Factor Authentication

Security used to hinge solely on the strength of your username and password.

Unfortunately, many small businesses choose weak passwords when creating accounts. Logins are easy to break by using exploits like a brute force attack. Once a hacker has this information they have access to everything on your Cloud server.

Multi-factor authentication or MFA adds another layer of security on top of traditional logins.

It requires the user to provide an additional form of ID, like entering a code sent to their phone. Or by using a number from a physical device sent by their bank.

Check if your Cloud provider offers MFA. If they do, set it up. The process takes a few minutes and may seem like a nuisance. However, it doesn’t compare to the pain and expense of a full data breach.

  1. Real-Time Breach Detection

A good Cloud provider is constantly checking their network for unauthorized access. Their software sniffs out hacking attempts and automatically alerts their engineers.

For example, Cloudflare’s Intrusion Detection tool monitors your content on their network. The system alerts you if they suspect an attack is happening. It integrates with Cloudflare One, their Network as a Service.

Check to see what real-time detection your provider offers.

The best services inspect all traffic regardless if it comes from inside or outside your network. If they don’t, ask them to implement it.

  1. Review Employee Data Access

User accounts grant access to data and services that the user is allowed to see and edit. But if your staff are able to view, change, or delete confidential information then what’s the point?

Regularly check your employees’ access to your Cloud servers.

Good Cloud providers record every login attempt so you can see what your staff are doing. Ensure they can’t access data meant for your eyes only.

When a staff member leaves, remember to revoke their Cloud account. A disgruntled ex-employee can cause more damage than any hacker.

  1. Check SaaS Provider Credentials

Software as a Service offers small businesses a cost-effective way to access applications on the Cloud.

Online services like eCommerce through Shopify and Hubspot’s CRM offer excellent value. You don’t need to download the software – just access it via your browser from any device.

Yet not all SaaS providers offer a secure platform.

Check if the SSL icon appears in your browser’s address bar. Google the SaaS provider and check their reviews. Is there anything suspicious about the company holding your private company data?

Always use a SaaS with a reputable name. And never share private information with someone you don’t fully know.

  1. Secure Cloud Migration Strategy

If you haven’t yet made the jump to Cloud computing then consider a secure migration strategy.

Cloud migration defines how to move your existing data and services online. Complexity depends on how long you’ve been in business and the nature and size of your data sources.

A sound migration strategy hinges on:

  1. Migration triggers
  2. Business goals
  3. Workload priorities

Triggers could include that you’re running out of space on your local network and need to scale.

Business goals might cover reaching a new audience by selling online. And workload priorities consider how the process will fit into your current schedule.

A secure migration strategy examines the safest way to digitally transfer data from your network to the Cloud

If you have little or no experience in this field then contact an expert. Don’t try to set up a Cloud storage bucket if you don’t know what it is!

  1. Improving Cloud Security Using iCloud Keychain

For Mac users who hold data on Apple’s iCloud, implement Keychain on all your devices.

iCloud Keychain keeps your passwords and other information updated across all your devices. It auto-fills your information like browser usernames and passwords and credit card data.

If you don’t currently have an iCloud account then read this article on how to access iCloud Drive on Mac computers.

This step-by-step guide makes the process painless and will help keep your iCloud data secure. Then you can use the Keychain feature to access data from across the web.

  1. Training on Cloud Security

The best Cloud management strategy will fall flat if your employees don’t know how to follow it.

Ensure your staff receives adequate training on what Cloud computing is and how to use it. This should happen for every new member that joins your team with refresher courses throughout the year.

Access to data through appropriate permissions will demonstrate what they can and cannot do. Visualize this through a flowchart or hierarchy diagram. Explain why this is necessary to safeguard everyone’s information, including theirs.

Also, offer training on hacker exploits like phishing emails and social engineering.

If your employees can help spot unauthorized access to your Cloud systems they can help stop a data breach.

Cloud Management Strategy and More at Rankerhub

Improving Cloud security should be an essential part of every business’s management strategy.

Implement the tips in this article to safeguard against the most common cyber threats. Stay safe, keep your information safe, and limit who has access to data on your Cloud server.

Read more about Cloud automation and access to business and personal data in our Technology archives.

We have a host of articles to help keep you safe on the Cloud. Subscribe to our blog and you’ll receive notifications of new posts straight to your inbox.

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