For many businesses, cloud networks have become a vital part of their modern operations, providing easy access to data, resources, and intelligent applications from anywhere and any device. However, with this convenience comes a certain level of risk, as cloud networks can easily be opened up to vulnerabilities and unauthorised access, which could incur significant sensitive data loss, as well as unnecessary costs and time loss. In this article, we will be discussing some top tips for preventing unauthorised access to your cloud networks.
Always Set Up Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
One of the most effective ways to prevent unauthorised access to your cloud network is to use multi-factor authentication (MFA). MFA requires you and any other users to provide two or more forms of authentication before gaining access to the network.
This can include a password, a security token, or a biometric factor such as a fingerprint or facial recognition, that will come from a separate device. As you require multiple devices to gain access, this makes it significantly harder for anyone to bypass your system.
At Equity, we are able to provide you with solutions that enable you to protect your Microsoft 365 account, workstations, and VPNs with effective MFA. You can request more information on this here.
Implement Role-Based Access Control (RBAC)
Another important step in preventing unauthorised access is to implement role-based access control (RBAC). RBAC allows you to assign different levels of access to different users, based on their role within your business.
Especially as a small business, it can be easy to overlook this when setting up employee accounts, however it is essential that only you as the owner can access certain top-level data and features. This ensures that only those who need access to specific resources and data are able to access them without being able to find confidential information or being able to delete certain data (even accidentally) without permission.
Monitor and Audit Your Cloud Network
Although it can be hard to find the time as a small business, monitoring and auditing your cloud network is crucial for identifying and preventing unauthorised access. This involves regularly reviewing logs and event data, looking for any potential hazards, suspicious activity or patterns.
Regularly reviewing the data will help you to properly identify any potential vulnerabilities in your network that you can then address before they cause you a problem.
Too busy to keep on top of your network? We can help you to monitor and stay on top of it at all times! Speak to an advisor today for ongoing network maintenance and support!
Regularly Update and Patch Operating Systems And Software
Another important step in preventing unauthorised access is to regularly update all of your devices’ operating systems and software regularly. Over time, hackers and cyber criminals identify weaknesses in operating systems and software, which can allow them easier access to your accounts.
By updating regularly and whenever newest versions are available, it ensures that any known vulnerabilities are addressed and fixed, making it more difficult for any unauthorised members to gain access to your network.
Be Wary of Phishing Scams
Phishing scams are a common tactic used by cybercriminals to gain access to sensitive information and resources. They may use emails, messages, or even phone calls to persuade you to enter sensitive information that they can then use to exploit your business and network. Particularly as a small business owner, your contact details are likely to become a prime target for phishing scams.
It’s important that you are always wary of the emails and messages that you respond to. Always verify the sender’s identity before entering details, and be careful with links and attachments from email addresses or users that you are unfamiliar with as these could contain malware.
Roughly 61% of small businesses don’t apply the correct password security techniques, meaning their passwords are much easier to discover. As a small business owner, your passwords protect all of the data and information about your business and your customers, making them an extremely important security measure.
In order to keep your cloud network safer and prevent easy password access, you should make sure that all of your passwords are:
- Contain a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters
- Are never shared with anybody else
One of the most effective ways for you to manage your business’s passwords properly is with a password manager. With a password manager, you no longer need to remember passwords so these can be much stronger and stored within a password vault. The password manager can also be used to generate strong, randomised passwords.
Using a manager also means that logins are managed centrally by the business rather than with individual users – often passwords are stored in a browser using a users own account e.g a personal Google account which can create vulnerabilities within your business, even if you only have a handful employees.
If you would like to setup a password manager for your small business, we can help you to utilise N-Able’s Passportal for effective password security. Speak to us today to learn more about Passportal for you.
Use A VPN
You may often use public Wi-Fi networks to access work emails or data whilst on the go, or you may be using co-working spaces to work on your business. Whenever doing so, you should be aware that widely-used public and shared Wi-Fi systems are often insecure and don’t protect you online.
Using a VPN (or Virtual Private Network) gives you secure, encrypted connection to the internet, no matter which Wi-Fi networks you are using, making it considerably harder to be targeted by cyber criminals who may otherwise exploit network vulnerabilities to access your systems and data.
Have a Backup and Recovery Plan in Place
As a small business, losing valuable data could end up too big a problem to overcome. 60% of small businesses are forced to file for bankruptcy within 6 months of a cyber attack that results in data loss, as the costs of tackling and dealing with a breach can be huge.
That’s why it’s so important to have a backup and recovery plan in place in case of unauthorised access to your business’s cloud network. This will ensure that your data is still accessible, even if your primary network is compromised, and could save you the time, money, and resources that would otherwise put you out of business for good.
Preventing unauthorised access to your small business’s cloud networks is crucial for protecting your data and resources. It could even be the difference that stops you from going out of business altogether. By implementing the tips we have discussed above and keeping a constant eye on your network, you can significantly reduce the risk of unauthorised access to your cloud networks.
If you require support to keep your network and business data secure, whilst allowing you to focus on running your business and focusing on important work, speak to one of our advisors for free today.Get In Touch With An Advisor Today