Secure your business online: Understand cloud security, train employees, encrypt local data, and clarify provider responsibilities to prevent data breaches.
Best Practices for Protecting My Business Online
As the world continues to move toward a paperless existence, cybersecurity has become a primary concern for businesses entrusting their data to the Internet cloud. The issue extends far beyond the risk of data loss, as companies must also protect themselves against financial, operational, and reputational loss. It is vital for businesses to recognize the threats a cybersecurity breach poses for their organizations and the security protections needed to keep their online business data safe.
Is Cloud Technology to Blame for Data Breaches?
Although cloud computing has become mainstream, the waters of cloud security are still unchartered. That hasn’t stopped companies from moving their confidential data online, even in the face of several high-profile data breaches that have taken place. Major companies, such as JP Morgan Chase, Home Depot, and Target Stores, have experienced massive breaches compromising millions of customers’ sensitive information. However, a closer examination of those cases reveals the violations didn’t occur in the cloud. Instead, they occurred through the companies’ on-premises systems guarded by their in-house IT departments.
While cloud technology wasn’t inherently to blame in these data security breaches, businesses need a better understanding of how their information interacts with the cloud and take more proactive measures to protect it. The root cause of most major data breaches is human error, and it is no different with a cloud breach. The two most significant cloud security risks for businesses are employee control of data and procedural failures, both of which occur in the local environment.
Employee Control of Data
Data stored in dedicated cloud systems are encrypted on multiple levels, which makes it secure from intruders. However, data used at the local level is not. When an employee transfers confidential data to cloud platforms such as Dropbox or Google Drive, the data remains unencrypted and can be easily exposed to unauthorized access. Confidential data is also at risk when employees access it using public Wi-Fi. Businesses must establish clear policies on how employees use data and where it can be stored while not in use.
Businesses that need to maintain control over sensitive data, such as financial records, should consider using appropriate software as a service (SaaS) option. The better cloud-based accounting software solutions allow you to access your data and perform all functions while fully encrypted in the cloud.
Businesses that utilize cloud-based service providers for data storage can expect their data to be protected at all levels through encryption technology. The problem is, per their agreements with the providers, businesses are still responsible for much of their security, just as they were when it resided on their servers. If a cloud security failure occurs, it is most likely to happen as a result of a procedural failure on the part of the business. When setting up a contract with a service provider, companies need to know what security services are included. For services not included, businesses should consider the best security software available.
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