Is My Small Business Safe in the Cloud?
While the cloud is changing the way people store and share information, it has also raised serious questions about security. From celebrity photos to your credit card information, it seems like the news is continuously filled with stories about one hack or another. If you are seriously considering migrating your company to the cloud, it is necessary to take a deep look at this question: is your small business safe in the cloud?
The answer is both yes and no. In all honesty, handing over your information to an Internet-based storage facility creates a risk that some unauthorized user is going to gain access. Of course, there is also a risk that your physical storage facilities will suffer from a break-in. Luckily, just as you can add security measures to a physical storage unit, there are many things that you can do to safeguard your data in the cloud. If you are smart, and follow these security steps, you can rest assured that everything you store in the cloud remains safe and secure.
Thoroughly vet your cloud providers
There are many different cloud service providers. Each one focuses on different things in order to gain your business. As you are checking out different providers, make sure that you ask the following questions:
- Has your company had any recent breaches? If so, when? How did you handle them?
- What is your company’s policy for password resets and recovery?
- What is your data recovery plan?
- Do you provide security for data that is in transit? How about when it is being backed up?
Don’t forget to encrypt
One of the best ways that you can protect your business from any security breach is to have all of your data encrypted. Many cloud service providers will automatically encrypt your data for you. For other providers, it will be necessary for you to encrypt your data before you transfer it to the cloud. Either way, when your data is encrypted, it will remain a mystery to any unauthorized user.
Implement strong password policies
At Digity, we talk a lot about the importance of strong passwords. That’s because passwords are literally the barrier that keep any malicious (or nosy) people out of your files. Do not depend on your cloud provider to enforce a strong, secure password policy. Take matters into your own hands and ensure that every password that gains access to your cloud storage (or that decrypts your information):
- Does not use common names or words
- Uses a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters
- Is at least 8 characters long
- Is changed every 60-90 days (as well as anytime an employee is terminated)
To use the cloud or to not use the cloud…that is the question
If you use the cloud correctly, it can be a great tool and asset to your small business. But as with most technology, it has some hidden dangers. If you choose to be smart about your cloud services, you can ensure that it remains a safe and secure place for your company to work.
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