When using a public cloud host, you want to make sure your business remains compliant with rules and regulations applicable to your industry, while also keeping your data secure. To ensure the compliance and security, there are a few rules your SMB needs to follow.
The cloud is something that has taken our world by storm, and now that the storm is settling down, most of us take cloud for granted. People often don’t give a second thought about how cloud services maintain compliance and security.
Consider this: there are both private and public cloud services. While some organizations prefer to use the private options, the public ones have some benefits to them and are easier to use in many cases, not just for individuals, but for small organizations, as well. When using a public cloud, however, you need to practice safety and security.
There’s a lot more to cloud-based security, but there are some basic rules your organization should follow to help your business protect important data.
Rule #1. Know what is secure in a Cloud, and what is not
When using public cloud services, the providers running them have developed systems to ensure that Cloud data is kept secure. If someone tries to get into the servers to access data, they will be blocked, but the Cloud companies cannot prevent everyone from gaining access if you do not take care of your own security measures. Providers can only be responsible for their own actions, not yours.
Assuming that you choose to go with professional, reputable, and well-equipped public cloud provider, let’s touch base on security pros and cons of the public Cloud services:
Security benefits of the public Cloud
- You expand your security expertise from your professional vendor
- Your data resides behind an enterprise-class firewall
- Your data resides in a facility with multiple degrees of physical security
- Access to data will be defended against DDoS
- Data location is vigorously guarded
- Your hardware is not being at risk from disgruntled employees
- Measures are taken to prevent hardware failures
- Measures are taken to handle sudden surges in demand
- You will have access to tech support 24/7 since most of the major Cloud providers have non-stop service hours
Security disadvantages of the public Cloud
- You are dependent on the integrity and responsiveness of your cloud vendor.
- Access can be allowed from any location
- Your data must travel over the open internet to your cloud provider (unless specific security measures are taken)
- Your vendor might grant physical site access to other customers
- You may be subject to jurisdictional issues, especially when you’re dealing with international issues
- There is very little established case law
- You must manage access to public cloud to prevent unauthorized persons – such as former employees – to access your data
So, before engaging with the public Cloud service provider, do your homework and have a clear understanding what would be secured in the public cloud, and what not. If your business needs to follow compliance regulations, discuss your options with potential Cloud provider before signing up.
Rule #2. Maintain your passwords security measures
Thanks to brute-force-attack software available online, hackers can test millions and millions of possible password combinations per second. For example, a hacking software can guess a five-character password in under three hours. A weak 16-character password can be cracked in less than an hour – all done by a program, while a hacker is sipping his Mountain Dew.
One of the easiest ways to keep your data secure is by creating strong passwords and changing them often, on a regular basis, every few weeks. It may seem like overkill but it is an extremely important component It is also important not to have the same password in multiple points of authentication, and forget about sharing the same password among multiple people!
The best way to go about it is by implementing a protocol where password changes are required frequently. Use the principle of least authority: only allow access to the cloud to those employees who absolutely need it to perform their jobs. Sharing too much access only opens your business up to more risk. If someone does not need access, remove it. You can always give them access again later if and when it is needed.
Rule #3. Automate your compliance and monitoring process
Focus on monitoring and compliance and you will minimize the possibility of human error.
You should know what you need to monitor to follow your industry regulations. Employ an automated system that will alert you when something is not compliant.
Monitoring the system and performing compliance checks is a common process for many businesses. It is done best when automated and performed on a 24/7 basis. Most public Cloud vendors will offer monitoring process as part of their overall package. It is affordable and can provide your business with additional protection.
Moving to the Cloud is not so simple for small business
The attraction of Cloud services is associated with migrating from on-premise servers to remotely managed data centers. The goal is to gain benefits such as decreasing capital investment, while increasing scalability, productivity, flexibility, and simplicity. However, implementation still requires certain technical capabilities. Therefore, many SMBS are turning to local managed service providers (MSPs) to migrate from on-premises to hybrid or full Cloud environments.
Remaining safe and secure on the cloud is something that every company using one should be concerned with. For more information on how to keep your data safe and secure on a public cloud in New Jersey or New York area, be sure to contact powersolution.com by calling (201) 493-1414 x 311. They can help you find any gaps in security and help you further your efforts so you remain compliant.
Let’s have a talk about your specific business IT needs! We cannot wait to start a conversation with you.