Are you using a cloud storage service for your business? Cloud storage has become an integral part of business in every industry and it’s hard to imagine working without accessing some form of cloud account…
A large number of businesses use these services from a variety of providers, and they offer a variety of different benefits from secure remote backup to shareable links, scalability, and a variety of pricing plans to meet the needs of any size business. One good choice? Cloud storage from Box, one of the most popular options online today.
All of these benefits help to create a foundation for successful business outcomes. However, cloud storage can pose a security risk to your business.
Want to mitigate those security risks? It’s not as hard as you might think. Here’s why you need to include cloud storage in your IT security plan.
1. The biggest security risk is human error
Most people believe data breaches are caused by hackers who manage to break into accounts and servers. That’s inaccurate. Data breaches are primarily caused by human error and hackers don’t need to work very hard to gain access.
The number one human error is failing to set up accounts with the proper permissions and security settings. According to Security Magazine, misconfigured APIs account for two-thirds of cloud breaches. Equally shocking is data from Infosecurity Magazine that says 63% of enterprises use cloud services without securing their data.
Overlooked and incorrect settings are easily exploited by hackers who are just waiting to find a vulnerable account. The result can be catastrophic, from a data breach that exposes personal information to the dissemination of proprietary information.
The only way to prevent user error from facilitating a data breach is to create and enforce strict security rules. Those rules must be part of your IT security policy.
2. Lax access permissions can open a can of worms
It’s one thing to give employees more access than they should have. It’s another thing to provide proper access, but not have controls in place to combat mistakes and abuse. That’s where automation comes into play. Automation will be discussed in more detail in a moment.
Your company’s IT security plan should include policies that govern how devices are used, how company cloud accounts are accessed, and what level of access each employee has inside of your accounts. All of this can be done with automation.
Restrict access by device, not account credentials
Say your company provides a username and password to each employee to access the company’s cloud storage account. That’s not good enough security. You can tell employees not to share account information, and you can enforce that rule. However, it will still happen.
Automated security tools, like the admin features inherent to Google, will put a stop to shared credentials. With automated security tools, you can provide access based on the device rather than just a username and password. This will require employees to access the company’s cloud account from their registered device.
With device registration, an employee using someone else’s username and password from an unregistered device won’t be granted access.
Problems associated with lax access permissions include:
- Fired employees might ask a co-worker to borrow their credentials in order to sabotage the company by deleting files and even backups.
- Stolen laptops and hacked email accounts can give hackers access to the company’s cloud storage account. Once inside, hackers can obtain sensitive data and proprietary information. This happens to thousands of businesses.
- Employees might browse top-level directories beyond what they should be able to access.
- Employees who browse around might download company documents that end in the wrong hands.
With lax permissions, you can lose control of your company’s files quickly. Your company’s cloud storage account should never be your only backup. Always create regular offline backups of your cloud account and don’t allow anyone access to those files.
3. Lack of enforcement will perpetuate problems
Your IT security policy is where your enforcement comes from. For instance, if your IT security policy states that employees are not allowed to use personal devices for work, your policy will also detail consequences for breaking the rules.
Rules are only effective when they’re enforced. Once you set the rules for accessing your cloud account, make sure you add enforcement to your IT security policy.
When You Need the Cloud, You also Need Security
In today’s digital world, your business won’t survive without the cloud. However, your business could be destroyed without security. Get the best of both worlds and hire an IT pro to set you up with the best security possible. If you don’t have a cloud data storage provider yet, start by checking out Box, one of the most popular solutions in the industry. Cloud storage by Box offers security, convenience, shareable links, scalability, secure backups, and cost savings. Learn more: