The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – Thunderstorms
The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – Mischievous Easter Bunny
The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – Waiting For The PS4

Keeping Your Business Data Secure In An Insecure World

Keeping Your Business Data Secure In An Insecure World

If you’re a small or medium-sized business (SMB), you might be hoping keeping your head down and staying off the Cloud will keep your data safe from interlopers — hackers and government agencies alike. Yet Verizon Communications’ 2013 Data Breach Investigations Report found 72 percent of data breaches occurred in companies with fewer than 100 employees. As long as your business is above board, malware and phishers might be a bigger concern for you than the National Security Agency. Still, the privacy of your data is related to two C words: choice and control.

Choice

Depending on the needs of your business, public or private Cloud, on-premises, or a hybrid model might work best for you. Setting up a server room might be cost-prohibitive for a small business, while a healthcare company might have concerns about keeping their data security HIPAA-compliant. (Trends suggest many companies see the Cloud in their future. A 2012 survey from Vanson Bourne found 38 percent of businesses have already adapted Cloud computing, while another 29 percent have plans to do so.)

When choosing between Cloud, on-premises, and hybrid options, it’s important to keep the data security pyramid in mind. At the bottom, or least secure, would be running everything from your non-password-protected mobile device, while a tier-one cloud provider or on-premises severs could be at the top, or most secure. But simply because a public Cloud might be a few layers up from the base, it doesn’t mean you and the vendor can’t work together to encrypt and protect your data.

Control

Regardless of where your business decides to keep its data, it’s essential to opt for technology that lets you keep a measure of control. If you’re putting information on the Cloud, do you know where it’s physically stored? Can you pull it off whenever you want? Will you be holding the encryption keys to your data, or will they live in the provider’s Cloud? You’ll want to address these issues with your vendor. The Cloud is everywhere. You’re already in the Cloud.

Even if you’re not on the Cloud, strictly speaking, it doesn’t mean your data isn’t. Your own employees may be storing sensitive files in Dropbox or emailing them to their Google e-mail address so they can work from home. Perhaps their company e-mail is synced to their personal mobile devices. A recent poll from McAfee showed 45 percent of SMBs don’t secure data on employees’ personal devices.

It’s easy to feel insecure when some of the biggest companies in the world find themselves vulnerable to snooping. After a recent breach by the NSA, Google’s working to encrypt the traffic between its data centers. But the revelation serves as an important reminder to review or update your own security policies — and remind your employees why they’re so important. A survey from data security firm SafeNet, Inc. found that 59 percent of respondents would be unsurprised if their boss was violating company policy by using a file-sharing service such as Dropbox. Instead of shunning these convenient tools, Chief Information Officers (CIOs) or Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) need to take a more realistic approach to protecting data by making sure these Cloud-based apps are used securely.

Ok, now what? Unless you’re planning on unplugging the router and going entirely on paper, it’s imperative to protect your data wherever it lives. The Cloud Security Alliance’s best practices is a useful guide. Its recommendations include evaluating which assets you feel comfortable transferring to the Cloud, identifying threats and how they would impact your business, and developing risk treatment plans.

But perhaps the best place to start is a refresher course for employees. Forrester research shows 36 percent of security breaches are caused by employees’ inadvertent misuse of data. Last year, businesses lost $1.5 billion in phishing attacks, according to a report by EMC Corp. Employees at all levels — online-rsa-fraud-report-012013 — are tricked into opening e-mails that appear to be from a colleague. From there, the recipient is asked to reset a password, click a harmful link, or even wire $100,000 into an account. Falling for such a scam can happen to just about anyone. (Just ask Coca-Cola exec Paul Etchells.)

Finally, in line with the desire for control and choice, make sure to grill your cloud software provider with questions like these.

You should have the power to control where your information ends up and choose who has access to it. The threat of spies or hackers shouldn’t send you screaming for the WiFi-less hills, but hopefully it will inspire you to tighten your security belt, no matter where it lies.

stijn-hendrikse

By Stijn Hendrikse

Sijin is the Chief Marketing Officer at Acumatica. He has over 20 years of experience in the software business.

Follow Us!

CloudTweaks

Established in 2009, CloudTweaks.com is recognized as one of the leading authorities in cloud computing information. Most of the excellent CloudTweaks articles are provided by our own paid writers, with a small percentage provided by guest authors from around the globe, including CEOs, CIOs, Technology bloggers and Cloud enthusiasts. Our goal is to continue to build a growing community offering the best in-depth articles, interviews, event listings, whitepapers, infographics and much more...
Follow Us!

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

Popular

Using Big Data To Make Cities Smarter

Using Big Data To Make Cities Smarter

Using Big Data To Make Cities Smarter The city of the future is impeccably documented. Sensors are used to measure air quality, traffic patterns, and crowd movement. Emerging neighborhoods are quickly recognized, public safety threats are found via social networks, and emergencies are dealt with quicklier. Crowdsourcing reduces commuting times, provides people with better transportation…

The Industries That The Cloud Will Change The Most

The Industries That The Cloud Will Change The Most

The Industries That The Cloud Will Change The Most Cloud computing is rapidly revolutionizing the way we do business. Instead of being a blurry buzzword, it has become a facet of everyday life. Most people may not quite understand how the cloud works, but electricity is quite difficult to fathom as well. Anyway, regardless of…

Five Reasons SMBs Fear The Cloud

Five Reasons SMBs Fear The Cloud

Five Reasons SMBs Fear the Cloud Fear of the cloud has been around since the Cloud began. SMBs were traditionally afraid of security issues, while large companies fretted about increasing the complexity of their IT infrastructure. What many budding start-up companies don’t realise is Cloud Computing helps place them on a level playing field with…

Cloud Infographic – The Future (IoT)

Cloud Infographic – The Future (IoT)

The Future (IoT) By the year 2020, it is being predicted that 40 to 80 billion connected devices will be in use. The Internet of Things or IoT will transform your business and home in many truly unbelievable ways. The types of products and services that we can expect to see in the next decade…

Cloud Infographic – The Internet Of Things In 2020

Cloud Infographic – The Internet Of Things In 2020

The Internet Of Things In 2020 The growing interest in the Internet of Things is amongst us and there is much discussion. Attached is an archived but still relevant infographic by Intel which has produced a memorizing snapshot at how the number of connected devices have exploded since the birth of the Internet and PC.…

Recent

The Importance Of Cloud Security For Wearable Technology

The Importance Of Cloud Security For Wearable Technology

Wearable Technology Starts With Cloud Security The integration of wearable technology into our society is all but inevitable. Today, major players in the wearable tech field include Google, Fitbit, Boston Scientific and Apple. As users continue to demand ever increasing availability and functionality from their devices, so do security concerns for wearable tech. The future…

Customer Success Guidelines – In A World Gone Cloud

Customer Success Guidelines – In A World Gone Cloud

Customer Success Guidelines for Maximum Upselling and Cross-Selling in a World Gone Cloud With the growth of the subscription economy, companies can no longer assume that a sale means that the deal is closed. Companies need to prove their worth every minute of every hour, every hour of every day and so on. A big…

Why You Should Be Concerned About Drone Security

Why You Should Be Concerned About Drone Security

Why You Should Be Concerned About Drone Security Over the past decade, drones, also known as UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), have become a fact of life. Beginning as underpublicized but extremely effective items in the U.S. military’s arsenal, drones have since come into wide use by government agencies for everything from geographic surveys to law…

Contact Us

Sending
cisco_logo_100x100 vmware citrix100
Site 24x7 200px-KPMG


Contributor Spotlight

Established in 2009, CloudTweaks is recognized as one of the leading influencers in cloud computing, big data and internet of things (IoT) information. Our goal is to continue to build our growing information portal, by providing the best in-depth articles, interviews, event listings, whitepapers, infographics and much more.

Branded Content Programs

Advertising