The internet has never been a safe place, but it’s even worse today. As more people and companies come alone, hackers create more cyber attacks that compromise computer systems.
That’s why it’s no surprise that attacks happen so often. Reports show that a cyber attack occurs every 39 seconds.
And when it only takes a single mistake to fall victim to an attack, security isn’t something you should take lightly.
Even though a cloud data platform can offer many benefits for businesses, it’s still possible to suffer from a security breach that compromises your business data.
Keep reading below to learn about the most common cloud security errors that cause business problems.
Poor Access Control
It’s tempting to create a single login account when dealing with cloud data.
You think you can share the username and password with the entire team and not suffer any consequences.
Unfortunately, this is a giant mistake. Everyone will have access to all your data when you go this route.
And when more people have access to all your data, it opens your company up to more risk.
If you want to minimize your risk when providing data access, you must control what employees can see.
Create individual accounts for every employee and only allow them access to the data they need.
Once your access control system is set up, regularly audit who can see what to ensure your rules are always followed.
Doing this will limit your exposure when an employee suffers from a cyber attack.
Your damages are limited to the information the employee could access.
Poor Network Security
One big mistake companies make when moving their data to the cloud is believing they don’t need to take internet security as seriously.
They rely on their cloud provider to secure their information. But people on work computers will still access that data and use credentials to log in.
What happens if an individual accesses data from a compromised device? In those cases, you’ll suffer from a data breach.
Be sure to take all the standard security precautions when you move data to the cloud.
This means securing your internal network with malware protection, firewalls, and regular audits.
Here are a few other security procedures you can put in place:
- Regular malware and virus scans
- Phishing file detection
- Separate WiFi networks
- Blocklist of internet websites
- Strong password policies
You’ll also need to secure the connections of people who work remotely.
You don’t have control over those devices, so you must ensure employees use a secure connection when connecting to data services.
You’ll need a VPN to do this. You can use a commercial VPN service or set up a VPN with your firewall.
Doing this will encrypt your employees’ traffic to prevent people spying on traffic from seeing what people do online.
Even if you trust a reputable company with your business data, that doesn’t mean you should rest easy with it on the servers.
There’s always the chance of a data breach happening. On top of that, you may not know for sure who has access to your data.
Encryption is a must when you store data on the cloud. If you aren’t using your data, it should be encrypted for anyone who views it on the server.
Additionally, you should be the only person in charge of your encryption keys.
You’ll use your software to decrypt your data and use it in your applications. You can also use programs to handle this for you.
Professional data storage companies should have published encryption standards.
Check out these standards and compare them to industry norms.
You want someone that does things the right way and doesn’t try something new to cut corners or promote buzzwords that don’t mean much.
Skipping Backups And Patches
In some cases, you may want to set up a private cloud for your business.
Because of regulations, you can’t trust another party with your data. But at the same time, you still need cloud access for your business to work well.
Many tools are available to help companies create their own hosted private cloud service.
This means companies can get all the benefits of the cloud without trusting another company with their data.
However, this also means you’re responsible for the maintenance of your server.
If you just let it sit and don’t maintain your equipment, you’ll become compromised because of new security threats. You also run the risk of losing data because of data loss.
The first step to securing a private cloud is to update your software regularly.
Look at the new updates from your hardware and software vendors to see if they include security patches.
Test those changes and roll them out to your cloud servers as soon as possible.
You’ll also need to ensure you have backups of your cloud data. Set a backup schedule to back up your recent file changes.
Doing this means you can quickly restore data if you suffer from drive failures or accidental data deletion.
You need more than a password to log into your cloud data devices. They will work great for adding a base level of protection.
But it’s still possible for passwords to become compromised when you follow best practices for password generation. One way this happens is when an employee gets phished.
They receive a fake email telling them to log into an account, only to get redirected to a fake website that collects that information.
You can also suffer browser hijacking attacks that record what people do in web browsers.
If someone enters a password, it gets sent to an attacker so they can access a data store service.
One of the best ways to counter this problem is by adding another layer of authentication after you enter your password. This is done with two-factor authentication.
This method sends a secondary code to another device. Here are a few standard methods for receiving codes:
- Text message
- Authentication app
- Hardware key
A hacker with one of your passwords won’t be able to access your data if they don’t have access to the account or device that receives the code. This means your accounts will remain safe.
It isn’t enough for a cloud data platform to have standard security practices in place.
Those work great for general information. But depending on your industry, you may have other requirements.
Take healthcare data, for instance. Your IT systems need to comply with HIPAA regulations.
You’re handling sensitive healthcare information, so you must do everything possible to secure that data.
The same is true for financial data. You need to follow the PCI compliance rules to safeguard financial information.
In both situations, you can face legal problems and hefty fines if you don’t follow the rules.
The problem is that some cloud data solutions only target general customers. They don’t have systems built for people who have more unique needs.
Be sure to learn about a platform’s compliance standards before hosting your data there.
They need to have systems in place that follow the rules you need to comply with.
Skipping Regular Audits
Outsourcing your data operations to the cloud doesn’t mean your job is done with security.
Even if you rely on another company to secure their systems, you also need to be sure your team is accessing things the right way.
You need to perform regular security audits on your current systems. Look at the email attachments people are opening, websites people are visiting, and information that is shared.
This information will give you an overview of your current security risks.
Ideally, work with a professional security company to handle this assessment.
Even if you have a great IT team, it’s not uncommon to miss small details after working on systems for too long.
An external audit will provide a second set of eyes. They will be able to look past those blind spots and find potential security issues your team misses.
From there, you can get a report that helps you beef up your internal security.
This will ultimately lead to a more secure cloud data platform.
Not Using Threat Monitoring
You usually have some level of control when you use a cloud data provider.
These companies will often provide root access to the systems to allow you to set up things as you wish.
That means it’s within your power to build effective security solutions in your private cloud.
You can use that flexibility to build monitoring systems that look for potential security risks.
Look for common security monitoring applications and install them on your cloud system.
These applications will examine the internet traffic in the cloud and report anything that looks suspicious.
Software programs can do this because common security issues have patterns you can store in a threat database.
From there, you must update your monitoring tools to update the threat databases.
This will help you get ahead of any issues that arise in the future and stop threats before they become more serious.
Ignoring Proper Data Disposal
Disposing of data the right way is critical for data security. Simply deleting a file from a computer doesn’t permanently remove the data.
It simply removes the link to the data and leaves everything else in place.
However, there are ways to dispose of files to ensure they’re entirely deleted.
This is even more necessary if your cloud provider disposes of hard drives that have fragments of your data on the drives.
Be sure to learn about these disposal methods. They may change based on the type of hard drives storing your files.
There is also software available that securely deletes files. If you don’t have much data to remove, this software is a great way to accomplish the job.
Once you understand the proper way to remove data, create systems to ensure everyone in your organization understands how to do it right.
Not Training Employees
It isn’t enough in most situations to have a great security system in place.
Excellent security relies on individuals knowing what they can and can’t do on computer systems.
If your team doesn’t have that knowledge, they will make mistakes that compromise your data.
Employee training is a must if you want to avoid this problem. Every person in your company should take security courses to learn about common cyber threats.
You can do this in a couple of ways.
Online training is one of the easiest ways to create a training program for your employees.
Countless courses on the internet cover the basics of staying safe on the internet.
You can require your employees to go through these courses before you allow them access to your internal systems.
In-person training is the next option for training your team to stay safe online.
You can hire a security specialist to come to your office to teach people how to use the internet properly.
Many people learn better in person, so this is an excellent option for those people.
Don’t Make Common Cloud Security Errors
It’s an exciting time when you move your data to the cloud. You reduce your internal infrastructure costs, reduce your IT team, and have remote access to all your data.
But when you open your data to cloud access, you expose it to numerous security risks.
However, there are many cloud security errors you can learn about before you make the switch to prepare yourself.
Make sure you understand the cloud data access errors above to ensure you’re ready to secure your cloud data.
Check out the blog to find out more information technology tips that will help your business thrive with technology.