Data security is a crucial and ever-present issue that affects small, medium, and large businesses. Disastrous data breaches continue making headlines, despite great efforts by businesses and industry players to tame intrusions. The potential consequences of data breaches on small businesses shouldn’t be overlooked. Therefore, even as small businesses migrate to the cloud, most IT managers and business owners remain uncertain of data security in the cloud.
What are the Common Cloud Security Concerns Affecting Businesses?
Most small businesses raise the following concerns before shifting to cloud storage:
1. Lack of Full Control Over Infrastructure
Most small business owners and IT managers presume that cloud storage isn’t safe compared to on-premise infrastructure because they don’t have full control over cloud infrastructure. Cloud relies on service providers, making it impossible to manage infrastructure directly.
However, the fact that IT managers have less control over cloud infrastructure doesn’t make the cloud less secure. Surprisingly, moving your storage infrastructure to hosted services improves security by restricting employee access. This is beneficial, especially in ensuring that disgruntled employees can’t steal company data from on-premise IT hardware.
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2. Cloud Security Isn’t Tough Enough
Small businesses should adopt the strongest security measures in the face of increasing data breaches affecting millions of sensitive information. This explains why large companies spend millions improving their in-house cybersecurity infrastructure. Unfortunately, small businesses with limited budgets cannot afford such capital-intensive expenditures.
As such, cloud storage allows small businesses access to high-end cybersecurity measures without the heavy initial expenses. Most cloud service providers offer strong security measures, which include:
- Robust encryption services
- Strong physical security in cloud hardware centers
- Antivirus and internal firewalls
- Strong perimeter firewalls
- IPS and IDS
Shifting to the cloud allows small businesses to leverage these cybersecurity measures without necessarily incurring upfront installation costs. Cloud service providers also have dedicated expert personnel who manage cloud cybersecurity.
3. Using the Cloud Impedes Small Business Ability to Meet Compliance Standards
The ability to comply with various data security standards determines the success of most small businesses. Achieving various cybersecurity compliance standards makes businesses safe, reliable, and trustable. That said, most small businesses are concerned that cloud migration impedes their ability to meet cybersecurity compliance standards, like the PCI, GDPR, HIPAA, and ISO 270001.
Unfortunately, these concerns can be justified depending on the cloud service provider chosen. Meeting these compliance standards requires service providers to implement various security measures, which cloud providers may view as additional costs. Therefore, when choosing a cloud service provider, small businesses should find providers who comply with these measures.
Precautions to Improve Cloud Security
Apart from the provided cloud security, small businesses should take the following precautions to improve data security:
- Encrypt data – you should begin by choosing a cloud service provider with data encryption abilities. This makes it challenging for hackers to make sense of your stored data.
- Perform regular data backups – you should also exclusively work with cloud providers with data backup abilities. Your crucial data shouldn’t be stored solely on one server. You should also back up sensitive information on your external hard drives.
- Enable two-factor authentication – enabling two-factor authentication further makes it difficult for hackers to access your stored information.
The Bottom Line – Is Cloud Storage Secure?
The security of cloud storage differs depending on whether the small business uses a private or public cloud. While choosing a private cloud gives you more control over data, it comes with additional data security responsibilities. Nonetheless, cloud storage can never be 100% safe. Small businesses should choose reliable cloud storage service providers and deploy additional precautions, such as endpoint protection, encryption, and data backups, to improve data security.
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