Business owners may often be hesitant to use online data storage due to the security risks everyone is talking about; after all, it's hard not to worry about putting sensitive information in the cloud where they can't directly oversee it. However, security changes are much more sophisticated now, making it a more secure option compared to other solutions a small business could afford.
Prevent File Deletion
One major risk of not storing data online is not using any kind of backup technology. It's common to accidentally delete files, especially with bad updates. With cloud storage offered by numerous places, there's always a backup available in case something important disappears. It can also make data available through a network to numerous locations.
Avoid Damaging Malware
Every day, new viruses are written to attack computers. It's hard to keep up with all the threats, so why not offload the responsibility to security professionals? Damages can vary, but most target software and damages or steals data that is stored locally. Regardless, by implementing sufficient antivirus and anti-spyware software, you'll greatly decrease the risk of acquiring damaging malware; you will also need to practice safe computer practices, such as avoiding using computers with inadequate protection.
No Mechanical Failure
Third-party cloud services generally offer multiple backups in case of mechanical breakdown, which is something a business often can't carefully handle on their own. If your company maintains local data storage, data recovery services can be costly. Some computer companies that help with laptop repairs or desktop repairs can sometimes recover data you worried about losing during a mechanical failure, but there's no guarantee that all data can be recovered.
Implement Two-Factor Authentication
One good way to protect your customers is to implement two-factor authentication wherever possible. Even if a password is revealed, the culprit won't be able to access sensitive data without additional authentication. This can include texting a code to their phone or generating codes via smartphone app. A somewhat new form of two-factor authentication is known as a U2F security key. This device looks similar to a flash drive, and an employee can insert it into his computer upon logging in. These devices aren't too expensive and add plenty of security.
Use Disk Encryption
If an employee were to lose a phone or laptop without using encryption, all the sensitive information accessible on there would be available to whoever found it. By default, iPads and iPhones have encryption already enabled, but anything running Mac OS, Android or Windows will require putting additional effort into turning it on. This is a big deal that you won't want to forget.
Opt for Cloud Solutions
Running a business with numerous computers and servers can be an expensive venture, not to mention when you factor all the possible repairs and data recovery services that could become necessary. There are a number of advantages of adopting a cloud solution, which relieves the burden of providing one's own security:
- Data remains safe and secure in an off-site data center with top-tier security
- Backups are performed and validated on a regular basis, ensuring there are no problems with lost or corrupted data
- Allows secure remote desktop to safely access data from another location
- File storage is seamless and goes wherever your login information goes
- No need for an on-site technician, and help is a phone call away
- Existing servers on-site can be phased out as they aged rather than pay to replace
- All applications are set in one central place
There is good news: Most cloud security concerns have been resolved with top-tier security practices. With a good policy in place, any business can keep their data safe while stored in the cloud.