According to CIO.com (11/2016), the cloud market will accelerate faster than ever in 2017, as enterprises seek to gain efficiencies and scale their computing to better serve customers. Smaller regional players (SMBs) will see an uptick in adoption in 2017 as well.
We can all expect cloud computing to continue to expand, and business data, analytics and data storage are projected to lead cloud adoption in 2017 and beyond. Within 18 months, the majority of IT infrastructures will be entirely cloud-based (Forbes.com, 11/2016).
So, assuming your business is on board with the importance of cloud usage in today’s business environment, here are 10 tips to help keep your business safe in the cloud in 2017:
- Make regular backups of files on the cloud so that you can easily recover the information, even if hardware fails.
- Install operating system updates regularly – they contain critical security patches that will protect your computer from new threats.
- Always secure your wireless network with a password.
- Ask your staff to always power their computers off at the end of the day – leaving devices connected to the internet opens the door for attacks.
- Encrypt data on your company’s USB drives and SIM cards in case a mobile device is ever lost or stolen.
- Don’t store passwords with your laptop or mobile device.
- Regularly purge out old files from cloud backups.
- For company-issued mobile devices, enable remote location and device wiping, lock your devices, disable automatic uploading, disable Bluetooth when not in use, utilize touch id and always set devices to lock after a period of inactivity.
- Don’t save passwords in your browser. We know it’s tempting with so many passwords to remember, but this presents a serious risk to your network. (Also, a strong password should be more than 8 characters, contain caps and numerals or other symbols.)
- Always use an encrypted cloud service.
These days it’s a “given” to ensure you’re using a secure firewall and proactive software protection. Be sure that anti-malware, virus and spyware protection software are on your “must have” list.
It can be difficult to keep up with all the updates and constant monitoring required to ensure your company data is well protected. Managed Service Providers (MSPs) exist in every market to assist with these responsibilities, for a nominal cost, and allow you to do what you do best – run your business without worrying about the expensive downtime likely to occur with a surprise data breach or malicious attack during the course of the year.
Hackers from around the world are continuously probing corporate networks, looking to steal data of value – info about customers, personnel, finances, trade secrets and other critical assets (Strategy-business.com, 3/2016). Hackers will always be one step ahead of you, so it’s incredibly important to work with an MSP that is committed to ongoing innovation.
In the cloud, security technologies are united together into a single analytics platform that can log and analyze activities taking place on all of your computers. An advanced cloud service can then compare this activity against its own continuously compiled repository of intelligence about current, large threats.
Cloud-based cybersecurity allows your company to avoid investing significant amounts of unexpected spending for “break-fix” solutions throughout the year. And the capital saved this way can be put to better use.
A competitive advantage any company can tout is guaranteeing the security of their customers data. And you can do that by partnering with a trusted, local MSP. Consider securing your company’s data now via the cloud, as 2017 is promising to see the largest cyber attack threats in history.