Cloud computing generates an enormous value potential for small-and-medium-sized businesses, even with the new security realities that come with real-time connectivity. The key to preserving the favorable cost benefit of the cloud is to establish a system of defense you can rely on, including a best practices routine that limits your attack surface. SaaS and cloud application security follows the same ultimate concept of all information security practices – personal discipline is the last and most critical stage of protection against an attack.
Identification & Access
Most cloud services and applications have their own tools and practices in place to protect your data, but that does not always mean that this an automated benefit you can let run in the background. Enterprise productivity apps like Microsoft’s OneDrive and SharePoint give you the ability to manage user access and keep all shared storage internal with the right permissions. More sophisticated programs allow you to encrypt files to ensure that external parties cannot open them at their pleasure.
Many of the most prevalent cybersecurity gaps exist in legacy software systems that have not be properly configured for new cloud functionality. These solutions will have Internet-facing access slapped over historical code that was never meant to be connected to a browser, creating loopholes that can be exploited. If your business relies on any legacy solutions, network connections have to be monitored carefully, with safeguards against external connectivity through the cloud.
Offsite connections have created an entirely new network security reality, one where an IT team now has to account for endpoints living outside of their immediate control. Remote employees, traveling executives and people just checking their work emails on vacation all contribute to expanding your business’s attack surface. In a shared cloud environment, access security protocols must be observed and heavily enforced to prevent hackers piggybacking on these remote connections.
Education & Training
As with all information security factors, the last line of defense for cloud cybersecurity is user best practice. All data protection strategies rely ultimately on individual knowledge and initiative, and the only difference in a cloud setting is the level of importance user responsibility takes on. Educating employees on how their access credentials can be exploited in cloud environments is the best way to control the attack surface they have the potential to generate.
Cloud Backup & Recovery
Data stored in the cloud is better protected against accidents and other physical methods of damage, and offers much more potential storage space. However, an unsecured cloud network will still be susceptible to attack online, so your information must be backed up in multiple locations for the best protection. Data is valuable to SMBs, and downtime or data loss can damage your business – for good in the worst case.
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