- On June 7, 2018
9 Tips to Step-Up the Cyber Security of Your Business Cloud
As a small business owner, you have a vested interest, and a powerful responsibility, to protect the data on your network. From backing up the data on your servers to preventing break-ins on your routers, you need to make sure every part of your protection plan is in place.
A big part of that data protection policy should be deciding where your files are actually stored. The widespread availability of high-speed connections and the falling cost of hard drive storage has many small business owners looking at cloud service providers for their data protection.
Storing your small business data in the cloud is a smart thing to do, but it does not relieve you of the security burden. Whether you store your data in the cloud, locally or a combination of both, you need to take some proactive steps to protect those files. Here are nine smart cyber security tips to safeguard your small business cloud account.
- Choose your cloud service provider wisely. Not all cloud service providers are the same, and not all of them provide the same level of security. Choose a cloud service provider with a strong reputation for quality, responsiveness and security.
- Insist on end-to-end encryption for transferred data. Data encryption is an essential part of cloud computing, and you should not settle for anything less than full end-to-end encryption. It is not enough to keep the cloud servers secure – without end-to-end encryption, hackers and other bad guys could snoop on your data en route.
- Do test restores on a regular basis. The only want to know your cloud backups are working is to test them yourself. Pick a random file or two, do a test restore of your cloud-based data and carefully compare the actual file to the backed-up version.
- Never rely on your cloud backups alone. Even if your cloud-based backups are working flawlessly, you should not rely on them alone. You still need to make local backups of your critical data, so set a schedule and stick to it.
- Set a strong password and change it often. The data your company stores in the cloud is only as secure as the password you create, so make sure that password is a good one. Set the strongest password your cloud service provider allows, then change it on a regular basis.
- Be careful with sensitive information. No matter how great your cloud service or how strong your password, storing highly sensitive data could be dangerous for your small business. Think about storing Social Security numbers, bank account information and other sensitive data in an offline format, where it will be safer from prying eyes.
- Test the security of your cloud provider. You rely on your cloud service provider to keep your data safe, but without security testing, you can never be sure. Hiring an intrusion detection firm to test the security of your cloud account can give you peace of mind and provide your customers with an extra level of protection.
- Keep your antivirus software up to date. No matter where your data is stored, you still need quality antivirus software to protect yourself and your small business. Make sure all your software, from operating systems to antivirus signatures, are up to date.
- Use a quality firewall. You also need a strong firewall to keep your data protected while stored locally. Whether you use a software-based firewall, a hardware device or both, you need to keep your firewall fully patched and up to date.
No matter what the nature of your small business or how much data you have, you need to protect your files from hackers and other prying eyes. Moving your data to the cloud is a good place to start, but you still need to take steps to enhance your cyber security and keep your files protected. The nine timely tips listed above can help you safeguard your small business cloud account, so you will have one less thing to worry about.