Small businesses today are extremely reliant on Cloud technology for their I.T needs, which is not all that surprising, given the sheer amount of advantages cloud computing affords. Sometimes though, in our haste to get things cracking, we might be possibly overlooking a few security concerns. Why are we bringing this up now? because, never forget "Equifax", the American credit agency whose servers were compromised, around 143 million credit records were compromised by hackers in this infamous data breach, if you go by what security analysts say this is only going to get a lot worse, cloud systems are increasingly being targeted in 2018, thanks to smarter algorithms that employ machine learning techniques to respond to defensive strategies.
All said and done though, don’t lose sleep over it, cloud-based providers already make it a lot safer for small businesses by completing segments of their security compliance. However, complacency is not warranted either, for It is vital that small businesses not fall into the vicious trap of learning lessons from their own experience. Given what is at stake, cybersecurity is of paramount importance and remedial steps must be taken to formulate a watertight solution to all security concerns. Ergo, as a small business owner/stakeholder, the million dollar question that should be foremost in your mind is; "How secure are our systems in the cloud, should I be doing anything differently now?".
Security, generally is seen as tough thing to be spending your monies on, it doesn't add any value to the business and it sometimes interferes in our productivity, considering the fact that data breaches have proven to be extremely destructive, let's look at a few simple preventive steps that can be taken to avoid a doomsday scenario.
Penetration testing is an authorized simulated attack against an organisation’s network or applications identifying security loopholes and vulnerabilities and in it, that may cause a hacker to gain access to your system's data and features. A test of this kind is typically performed against a company's internet facing servers to determine its security flaws. There are plenty of reasonably priced services out there that can provide you with detailed vulnerability reports and suggested fixes, this way you make sure that your applications are secure and free from issues like SQL injections and cross-browser scripting. This is a very basic step and will be your first line of defence against any attack.
Having a competent third party audit the security of your cloud system is essential for you to know if your systems are failing common compliance norms, this should typically cover the technologies used, deployment processes, access etc. It might seem painful but worth every cent, for example, PAN data being stored in clear text is an obvious flaw and can lead to a massive compromise, review of logs will indicate if abnormal patterns that are indicative of unauthorized access, regular security audits will bring this to the forefront and give you sufficient time to fix issues.
Two factor authentication or 2FA.
Two Factor Authentication, also known as 2FA is a two-step verification that requires something in addition to the login and password, this extra token is something that is ONLY available to the user signing in and nobody else. Implementing this for your cloud websites can be a lifesaver at times, even if the passwords for the accounts have somehow been compromised, unauthorized parties will not be able to access anything. Typically this implemented by sending the token via an email to the user’s email address or by sending an SMS to the user’s mobile no.
Backup & Disaster recovery options.
The practice of copying data that is stored on one cloud backup service to another cloud is called cloud to backup and is what is commonly used in cloud-based solutions, although these backups are reliable, it makes sense to backup your data in multiple locations so that even if one fails the other can be used for recovery. Making a disaster recovery plan involves taking into account the actual time for recovery which in turn will help decide on our restore options. For example, our cloud service provider, Rack Space, allows us to make cloud images of our servers and store them for future use, so in case of a server going down we quickly spin up an older copy that acts as a placeholder while the original is being restored.
Small businesses owners need to invest adequately in order to protect their systems because what is at stake here is the intellectual property, brand value, everything that they have worked extremely hard at achieving. Truth be told are plenty of other things that could be done in addition to the ones we just covered, as security is a never-ending business, but even following just these would be a good start.
Small businesses owners need to invest adequately in order to protect their systems. They need to do this because what is at stake here is the intellectual property, brand value, everything that they have worked extremely hard at creating. Truth be told are plenty of other things that could be done in addition to the ones we just covered, as security is a never-ending business, but beginning with these would make an excellent starting point.