Cybersecurity Tips to Protect Your Business

February 1, 2018 by in category Security, Website Maintenance tagged as with 0 and 2
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5 Cybersecurity Tips to Protect Your Business in 2018

Cloud computing has become a necessary tool for handling business. This way, all of your business files are kept in a single location, so that everyone on your team can access them whenever, wherever they are, and using whatever device they want. Not to mention, it’s a lot more secure than storing data on computers that can always break down or be hacked. That said, you still need to take some steps to protect your cloud data.

In this blog post, I’m going to share 5 useful cyber security tips to help protect your business in 2018.

Lets get started!

Why should you store your data in the cloud?

Even though there are always security issues – everything that is online is vulnerable to hacks in some way, there’s no denying that – cloud computing is definitely a better option than the “old-school” way of doing things: keeping your data on separate computers.

Here’s why cloud computing is a better option:

  • It’s accessible from anywhere in the world, at any time, and from any device; this is particularly useful when you work with freelancers or other remote workers, as well as for working from home. You don’t have to wait for someone to send you a document, or have to go to the office to get access to an important file;
  • It’s more secure: as I mentioned earlier, anything can be hacked (a study has found that there is a hacker attack every 39 seconds!) but keeping your data in the cloud (and taking some essential steps to secure that data) is much more secure. All businesses are susceptible to attack, no matter their size. In fact, smaller businesses are often targeted for ransomware and other attacks specifically because they’re small and presumably have worse security (or none at all) than bigger companies.
  • It’s faster: you have immediate access to your data, meaning you and your employees will be much more productive with your time

I could go on and on – but that’s not what we’re here for; here’s how to further protect yourself and your data from the cloud:

1. Control access to certain documents

Ideally, you should refrain from putting up on the cloud any sensitive information; that’s easier said than done, though.

However, one of the things that you can do is to control access to certain documents so that your employees only have access to the data they actually need, not all of it.

After all, if all or most of your team has access to all of the documents you store in the cloud and can reach them from any geographical location, that means that hackers can do the same.

Make sure that you provide access only the files each person or department needs – no more, no less. The bigger someone’s function is within your enterprise, the larger their access to the cloud.

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2. Use enterprise cloud protection and backup to secure your data

Better safe than sorry – it’s as easy as that. It’s much better to invest in a tool to help secure your data rather than have to pay dearly for a ransomware attack, for example.

Not only should you protect the data already in your cloud, but you should also make sure it’s backed up in a different location too: either store your data with a backup storage provider or use another local external storage unit to make sure you don’t keep all of your data in one place.

This way, if your data is damaged or encrypted by a hacker, you always have the backup to rely on so you’re not at a complete standstill.

There are all kinds of tools you can use to do this, such as:

  • NetApp, for AWS storage solutions, for backup solutions for your data, protecting SaaS applications (Microsoft Office, for example), and for setting up cloud disaster recovery. Basically, everything you need to backup and secure your data in case of any potential disaster.
  • McAfee, for controlling access to data, monitoring your data, for securing data with the Cloud Access Security broker and with on-premises data centers and private and public cloud solutions

3. Encrypt your data

First off, make sure that the cloud computing solution you’re using is offering encryption services. And if they do, what kind of encryption is it? Is it only for the files traveling between computers and the cloud (which is pretty much an industry standard) or are your follows also encrypted whilst in the cloud?

This offers a layer of protection, as the data won’t be readily available, but rather will have to be decrypted in order to access it. Many popular cloud services do offer this; for example, Dropbox uses 256-bit encryption to protect your resting data (i.e. the data already in your account) and 128-bit encryption for any files in motion.

However, make sure to check yourself that the cloud solution you’re using is actually offering this.

What’s more, you can also encrypt the data yourself too, to add another layer of protection – especially if your data isn’t already encrypted once in the cloud.

4. Create better and stronger passwords

You’ve probably heard this a million times, but the reality is, most people don’t heed the warnings. Weak passwords are abundant and they present a real vulnerability for your business and your data.

For example, studies have found that 47% of people actually use the same password for over 5 years, while 21% use the same password for over 10 years (!!). Not to mention, just a few years ago, the 5 most popular passwords were the simplest ones you’d expert: qwerty, 12345, 123456, and 12345678 (I know, right?), and even password.

Oh, and 73% of online accounts have duplicate passwords.

Basically, you could potentially hack some Internet users with no hacker knowledge whatsoever.

It’s a pain; I know. But, it can make a huge difference to your security. Here’s what you can do:

  • Don’t use any personal information, birthdates, names of people of people you know, pets, and so on.
  • Make your passwords at least 12 characters long and use all kinds of different letters, numbers, signs, and symbols
  • Reset your password approx. every 3 months
  • Don’t use your password on several different platforms/networks/accounts

5. Be vigilant

When you set up your cloud computing or cloud security, you might’ve gone over all the certifications, features, and security aspects: whether it’s industry standard, whether the data is encrypted, where it’s stored and so on.

However, things can always change; in fact, they probably will. Hackers, along with technology, continues to evolve, which means you need to make sure that your cloud storage and security is keeping up with industry standards. Be vigilant and monitor what new security features the tool is adding to keep up with the times.

Conclusion

Cloud computing is extremely useful – it’s why approximately 90% of businesses have implemented it to some extent – but it also has a fair set of security issues.

Don’t overlook the importance of security, as hackers are likely to go for enterprises that have bad security, even if they don’t have the turnover of a global conglomerate.

Are you using cloud computing for your business? What steps have you taken to protect yourself and your documents? Speak to a Pixel Representative and get your website secure and managed by a webmaster expert.

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