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Proofing Your Business’ Cloud Security for the New Digital Age

Securing The Integrity Of Your Business’ Cloud-Based Systems Is Vital

Scalable, accessible, and affordable—the cloud has brought many benefits and compelling advantages to the modern business undergoing digital transformation. The cloud puts tech like artificial intelligence into the hands of SMBs at just a fraction of the cost of an in-house investment. Cloud security is regarded to be much better than traditional cybersecurity—where companies would install a firewall around their on-premise IT hardware and call it a day.

Cloud-based technology has been around since 1999 when Salesforce first launched. Since then, it has been used to implement essential services like ERP systems and the technological capabilities of the cloud have become a fundamental part of virtually all strategies for digitally transforming SMBs. Businesses must leverage cloud technology to remain competitive in today’s digitized office world.

However, as the popular understanding of the cloud deepens, potential risks are becoming increasingly more salient. The cloud needs to be proofed and secured against potential cloud security threats.

Threats Within the Cloud

Despite its nebulous, effusive nature, the technology isn’t impervious. Instead, it’s now become apparent that the cloud is susceptible to a wide range of threats. These include but are not limited to:

● Data breaches stemming from improperly configured database settings

● Weak credentials, a lack of access control, and insufficient due diligence by businesses or cloud providers

● Insecure applications or software installed in the cloud

● Account hijacking and malicious insiders

● Advanced persistent threats which target other parts of an IT infrastructure to access the cloud

● Missing, lost, or accidentally deleted data

Although the cloud has opened up outstanding operations and data storage capabilities for businesses, it has also opened up a world of new security concerns. Cyber threats are continually evolving, and cloud servers are a significant target for cybercriminals. Fortunately, thanks to advances in security, cloud-based systems are more secure than ever, rivaling and even performing better than on-premise counterparts.

A New Set of Skills for a New Age

The unique nature of the cloud requires a different set of skills for maintaining cloud security than other parts of a business’ IT infrastructure. Cloud technology is now mainstream, and its prevalence means having highly-skilled personnel to manage it is more critical than ever.

What sort of skills are needed? To implement comprehensive cloud security solutions, professionals should have knowledge of:

● Logging and monitoring tools which can spot abnormal behavior or security violations

● Identity and user access management best practices

● Network access and control policy creation

● API best practices

● Encryption and data loss prevention

Such skills are specific, highly specialized, and go well beyond the simple creation of firewalls and strong passwords. However, in 2019, it is estimated that half of all companies which use cloud technology lack the skills needed to keep it secure.

This is especially concerning when you consider that SMBs are unprepared to respond for the increasing number attacks and often fold in the wake of a breach. Securing against attacks is more essential than ever.

How to Protect Cloud Data

The cloud is often regarded as a secure space to store data, but like any space, it needs proper security measure. To protect cloud data, be sure to:

● Use strong passwords: Several of the most significant data breaches this century resulted from weak passwords.

● Keep local or offsite backups of data: Eliminate the risk of deleting or losing data.

● Train employees on cyber awareness: Help them spot phishing or other traps which can trick them into handing over credentials.

● Thoroughly vet software, applications, and cloud service providers: Don’t install anything which might give access to sensitive data to malware or a malicious actor.

● Tighten network security across the company: Make it harder to use back doors to get into the cloud.

When to Use a Managed Service Provider

managed IT service is a third-party or outsourced IT service. It hands over the creation and management of IT resources and cybersecurity to a team of experienced professionals.

At Impact, for example, we provide a dedicated Virtual CIO (vCIO), Field Network Engineer, and Business Development Representative who directly manage your network. The use of a managed IT service can be tremendously helpful for businesses with understaffed and overwhelmed IT departments.

Managed IT services are helpful for companies adopting cloud technology because these professionals can guide the implementation of the cloud with the correct configuration, security settings, and its proper use. Consider leveraging this resource to get off on the right foot the first time around.

The Benefits of Proofed Cloud Security

When cloud security has been implemented, a company seizes the advantages of the cloud along with the benefits of strong security. A company can then:

● Catch intrusion attempts faster

● Respond more rapidly to disaster and downtime

● Provide increased accessibility for employees with confidence

● Better support disaster recovery and business continuity services.

In other words, a company is free to use the powerful capabilities of cloud computing as they were meant to be used without fear of threats based on the unknown. Cloud security threats are best mitigated with visibility and the right set of skills.

This means having the right people in place to provide security and establishing a culture of responsible data usage within your business.

Enhance Cloud Security Today

The many benefits of cloud computing have made it a popular technology for modern businesses. However, the nature of the cloud comes with its own security threats. IT professionals need to learn new skills in order to manage the cloud adequately. When this is a challenge, managed service providers can step in to support security and functionality.

Contact an IT specialist today to get started an assessment of your company’s cloud security solutions.