Any developing business today must pay close attention to how to secure their data. This is particularly valid for startups that need to attract many customers fast to survive today’s competitive market.
Established companies can efficiently deal with data security issues by enlisting an established IT security vendor or contracting an experienced data security expert. But for cash-strapped start-up companies, that isn’t always an option.
Here are some ways to keep your data more secure in the cloud, along with some cybersecurity threats and how to deal with them.
Do your best to keep business data flow streamlined
These days, everyone takes their job on the go. Company-issued devices are used 24/7, and it’s hard to keep track of where your business-related data might end up.
Your company should establish data security policies that include guidelines for file sharing. Your organization needs a clear understanding of where data is stored, if it’s encrypted, and, ultimately, who has the keys to the data.
Have strict procedures for managing your data
To put it bluntly, antivirus and antispyware software simply aren’t as essential as they used to be a decade ago. This is mainly because cloud computing proved to be the next big thing, and that most small business owners rightfully choose it as their data storage option.
That is why you must adopt an information-centric approach. This requires monitoring where files are kept, how they are used, and where they are being sent to prevent a data breach.
Use technologies like document fingerprinting, pattern matching, keyword dictionary comparisons, and other techniques to track the path of digital files. Also, have clear procedures for dealing with sensitive data, so you could instantly notice significant deviations from normal behavior and know when something is off.
Cloud-based solutions are useful because they do not require a startup or small business to install and manage software on-site. Everything is automated and accessible through a management console, and each company sets rules for how suspicious activities are treated and how they should be alerted.
Choose an option that is safe in every way possible
Besides virus and malware protection, data center safety has many more components. These include physical security and safety of the servers that combine to create the data center of your choosing.
Data centers have to be able to withstand changes in power supply, power outages, hard disk failures, and many other things that can endanger your data even without an act of malicious individuals or hackers. So, choose your cloud services provider wisely.
Train your employees
With no viruses and spyware to worry about, you should train the team to avoid doing simple things that can leave them vulnerable to cyber-attacks thanks to cloud-based storage.
The most vulnerable access points to a company’s networks are often the unintended consequences of an employee’s day-to-day practices. Because of this, your workers should know to use only trusted WiFi networks, never leave devices unattended, and so on. Encourage them to use acceptable password practices and such.
Basics like these can go a very long way into protecting sensitive data. When it comes to day to day work, here are some basic things you and your staff can do to make your working environment safer:
- Don’t click on anything suspicious or any type of attachment you are not expecting
- Hover over a link to make sure it is a valid one
- Backup your data. Use multiple forms of backup as backup often fails. Test the restore function and make sure it works
- Train your staff on security awareness training.
- Don’t pick up any stray USBs and don’t plug them in, no matter how tempting that is
- Use a password tool to encrypt and protect your passwords.
Pick an option that offers data-centric security
One of the easiest ways to have peace of mind when picking a cloud-based solution for your data storage and save some money in the process is to select a data center with data-centric security instead of application-centric.
This means that security measures are embedded in the data itself instead of focusing all defensive efforts on infrastructure. If documents and data have data-centric security enabled, access to those files can be revoked remotely if a data breach happens.
Encrypt everything you can
If data breaches and hacking attacks do happen, the very least you can do is make it harder for malicious attackers to access your information. That is where encryption steps in to save the day.
Pick a solution that is double authenticated for the user and stores the encryption keys on a different server than the secured message or data, as that adds another layer of protection. For the same reason, you should avoid the big server farms and pick small business-oriented solutions. Even giants like Microsoft and Google offer special options for startups and other small enterprises.
Consider investing in a Unified Threat Management (UTM) device
Lastly, if you do not want to leave all the security worries to the data center that manages your data storage and want to be more involved with the whole process, perhaps you should get a Unified Threat Management (UTM) device.
It can protect both the local network and remote users simultaneously providing a high level of protection for all team members of the company. A UTM device can be used in a variety of ways, such as a firewall, a proxy server, a web content filter, and a VPN gateway, and more.
As you have seen by now, cloud computing is a pretty safe solution for small business and startup owners. Most of the security challenges are resolved within the data center itself, but that doesn’t mean that there is nothing you could and should do.
Have your workers educated on the dangers that come with handling sensitive data. Keep a steady eye on the way your data flows and pay close attention to any irregularities as they are a certain giveaway that something is not right. Finally, choose a data center that provides the type of safety and encryption that you need.