Security is a huge problem for businesses that take advantage of the cloud, but never to the same degree. It’s often the nature of the industry which dictates how much a business should invest in cloud security. However, despite these differences in policy, there are some aspects of cloud security that absolutely can’t be overlooked, including data permissions, account security, vulnerability to malware, and other online issues.
A report from CloudLock identifies several key cloud security issues for specific industries, but there are also plenty of common concerns. Here are five of them:
Account compromisation: This pertains to how secure accounts are from being infiltrated and compromised by hackers. In particular, administration accounts should be closely monitored, primarily because they have more permissions than the average user would. If hackers gain access to legitimate credentials, there’s a possibility that they can gain access to sensitive information while bypassing all security measures, essentially rendering you helpless to stop them. This is one of the reasons why credentials, like usernames and passwords, should always be complex, with upper and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols.
Cloud malware: A cloud solution should be protected in much the same way that a business’s in-house network would be. This includes equipping it with tools like a firewall, antivirus, content filter, and spam blocker. All of these solutions are conveniently found in a Unified Threat Management (UTM) tool, which can be used on both a physical in-house network, or a remote virtual network.
Excessive data exposure: You need to be aware of who has permissions to access specific data stored in the cloud both internally and externally. For example, only your human resources department needs access to Social Security numbers and personally identifiable information, and only the accounting department needs access to your company’s financial information. The most effective way of limiting how much damage can be done in the event of a hack, is to limit who can access specific information.
Over-exposed personally identifiable information (PII) and payment card information (PCI): Similarly, there are many compliance regulations for personally identifiable information and financial records that need to be followed. If your organization collects this information from your clients, you need to revisit how you’re storing this information in the cloud. If it’s not done in a secure, compliant fashion, it could lead to data theft or hefty fines.
Collaboration: This returns to the way that you’re deploying information to your employees. While you want to restrict access to data on a per user basis, you still want them to be able to perform their jobs to the best of their ability. It comes down to keeping those who need access to critical information in the loop, without placing important information at risk. You should be trusting your staff and educating them on how and when to share information internally and externally.
Even though there’s always going to be common ground for cloud security, it’s still important to protect your data as per your industry standards. PACE Technical Services can help your small or medium-sized business maximize its cloud security solution today. To learn more, give us a call at 905.763.7896.