Cloud computing is ubiquitous and every business is using cloud applications to a certain extent, e.g., for file sharing, data storage, team communication, project management, CRM systems, sales management, and more.
While most reputable cloud providers have dedicated teams of security experts, there are still incidences in which hackers are gaining access to sensitive information stored in the cloud.
These breaches are most often caused by end-user negligence, but many of them can be prevented if organizations take some simple steps to improve their cloud computing security.
Here's what you can do to protect your data:
1. Deploy Two-Factor Authentication
The traditional username and password combination is often insufficient to protect user accounts from hackers, and stolen credentials is one of the main ways hackers get access to your on-line business data.
Once they have your user credentials, they can log into all those on-line, cloud-based apps that you use every day, from Outlook to Salesforce to Quickbooks...the list goes on.
Protect yourself with two-factor authentication (2FA) - also known as multi-factor authentication (MFA) - to ensure that only authorized personnel can log in to your cloud apps and access that sensitive data.
MFA is one of the cheapest yet most effective ways of keeping would-be hackers from accessing your cloud applications!
If you want to learn more about exactly what MFA is, take a look at our data sheet to get all the details:
2. Manage Your User Access
Most employees don't need access to every application, every piece of information, or every file.
Setting proper levels of authorization ensures that each employee can only view or manipulate the applications or data necessary for him to do his job.
Assigning user access rights not only helps prevent an employee from accidentally editing information that he or she isn't authorized to access, but also protects your systems from hackers who have stolen an employee's credentials.
If you don't have the in-house time or talent to do this yourself, be sure to consult with an IT professional or your IT Services Provider to help you get this set up properly, as well as provide on-going management of all your cloud services.
3. Monitor, Log, and Analyze User Activities
Real-time monitoring and analysis of user activities can help you spot irregularities that deviate from normal usage patterns, e.g., log in from a previously unknown IP or devices.
These abnormal activities could indicate a breach in your system so catching them early on can stop hackers in their tracks and allow you to fix security issues.
There are many solutions that can help you out with this, starting with 24/7 networking monitoring and management, and moving up to advanced cyber security solutions such as Intrusion Detection & Response (IDR) and Vulnerability Scanning and Remediation.
Want to learn more about cyber security? Watch our latest webinar that provides cost-effective solutions for small to mid-sized businesses!
4. Create a Comprehensive "Offboarding" Process
When employees leave your company, make sure they can no longer access your systems, data, customer information, and intellectual properties.
Since each employee would likely have access to many different cloud applications and platforms, you need a systemized deprovisioning process to ensure that all the access rights for each departing employee are revoked.
5. Provide Employee Training
Offering ongoing cyber security training is the best way to prevent employees from falling victims to these scams and compromising your company's sensitive data.
6. Implement a Data Backup and Recovery Policy
The average cost of IT downtime is $5,600 per minute so it's important to minimize the impact of a cybersecurity breach on your organization.
Devise a comprehensive, cloud data backup and recovery solution to protect all your information and make sure business-critical data can be retrieved with as little disruption as possible in the event of a security breach.
Take Advantage of Cloud Computing Without the Security Risks
Following industry best practices in selecting, installing, provisioning, and managing cloud services can help you get the most out of cloud computing while maintaining a high level of security to protect your sensitive data.
The best way to make sure that your organization is implementing the best-in-class cloud security measures is to work with a team of experts who can help you design a comprehensive cloud computing strategy that ties all the pieces together.
Request a Free Cloud Assessment to see how you get the most out of cloud computing for your business!