If you didn’t know already, cyber security is extremely important for every single business, including yours. According to government surveys, the average cost of a cyber breach is substantial for SMEs in the UK, at £11,000. Not only must you avoid these costs – as 60% of businesses who suffer a cyber-attack close within 6 months of it happening – but it’s essential to keep your staff and customer data secure at all times. So how can you keep your business data more secure when using the cloud?
Staff Training and Awareness
The vast majority of cyber breaches actually occur due to human error – mistakes or malpractices that happen as a result of a lack of training, awareness, or attention to detail when dealing with data in the cloud.
In order to maintain a high level of security, it’s key that everyone within your business has sufficient training and has been made aware of the potential pitfalls when it comes to accessing and storing anything within the cloud.
For businesses using Microsoft 365, you can even simulate cyber attacks to help you identify any vulnerabilities within your organisation, and train staff on how to deal with the situation if it were to occur for real. If you have Microsoft Business Premium with Defender (Plan 2), you can use the Attack simulation training in the Microsoft 365 Defender portal to run realistic attack scenarios.
As we move further towards a digital world, endpoint security becomes ever more important. Businesses are offering more work from home opportunities with bring your own device policies, staff working on the go, and connecting to various networks as they do so.
Ensuring that all endpoints are both physically and digitally secure is crucial in today’s business environment and will reduce the possibility of someone compromising your data from a physical location or device. Everything from offices, to desktops, laptops, and phones must be kept as secure as possible to avoid easy access to company data.
Multi Factor Authentication is one of the best ways to do this as it will add another layer of protection to every device. You can learn more about MFA here.
Always Ensure You Are Running A Supported Version of Windows And That Latest Security Patches Are Installed
In order to remain secure from malware and cyber criminals, your cloud network must always have the latest security updates installed as soon as they are released.
These updates plug holes in the network and prevent potential access points for a cyber-attack, keeping your network safer. Forgetting to install the latest patches can lead to vulnerabilities in your network which could be exploited by criminals or malware, where large amounts of data could be accessed and stolen.
Backup And Recovery
Whilst there are many things you can do to minimise a data breach or data loss, the chances are unfortunately never zero. In the event that your data is compromised, it’s essential to ensure that it’s backed up and can be restored from the most recent point in time.
Losing your data entirely would likely cause intense delays to operations, large financial loss, and damage to your brand as a result of missing customer information goes.
You should always make sure that you have an effective backup strategy in place that helps you to keep your systems backed up properly, updated regularly, and tested frequently. You may consider a DRaaS solution (Disaster Recovery as a Service) which allows you to backup data and IT infrastructure in a third-party cloud computing environment , and provides all the DR orchestration to regain access and functionality to your IT infrastructure after a disaster occurs.
Another way to protect your business’s data when using the cloud is to continually stay on top of basic cyber “hygiene”. That’s where Cyber Essentials comes in. This certification and set of tools provides your business with everything it needs to do to stay protected against cyberattacks.
Getting your systems in check so that you can become Cyber Essentials Certified has been shown to reduce your cyber risk by 98.5% and shows that you’re committed to keeping data safe and are taking cyber security seriously.
If you’d like to learn more about getting certified, feel free to visit our Cyber Essentials page.
Consider an Encryption Service
One of the strongest methods of securing data is having it encrypted, as this provides a layer of security before the data can be accessed. Only users with authorised access will be able to view the data.
Some cloud services offer encryption as part of their provision, which allows your data to be locally encrypted as well as where its stored and backed up, and when it’s in transit. With this service, your business’s cloud data will be secured both on computers and in cloud storage, allowing you to safely access it across your network.
Keeping your business’s data secure is one of the most important matters to consider and it’s not something that should be rushed. Whilst it’s of high importance, it doesn’t have to be a difficult issue for your business, as long as you follow the correct procedures.
If you’d like more help in securing your network or learning more about the measures above, talk to one of our advisors for free today.
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