Why the Cloud is Not as Safe as You Think!

You’ve just finished migrating your last file to a new cloud storage platform, now you can rest easy knowing all your data is safe and sound, right? Not exactly.

People tend to have a false sense of security when working with cloud services. They believe that the cloud provider will handle everything for them, from security to data loss prevention.

But that’s just not the case.

There are several factors that make the cloud less safe than most people think. Understanding the security vulnerabilities of the cloud can give you the means to address risks to reduce the chance of a cloud-related cybersecurity incident.

28% of organizations experienced a cloud security incident within the last 12 months.

What are some of the main vulnerabilities when it comes to using the cloud? We’ll go through those below and give you tips on how to overcome them.

Are You Trusting the Cloud Too Much?

Cloud computing has definitely helped many small and medium sized businesses in Charlotte with reducing costs and adding more flexibility to their workflows. It’s undeniable, the impact that it has had across the world to enable remote and mobile workers and streamline operations.

However, it’s not invincible. There are inherent risks that come with using the cloud that need to be understood so they can be mitigated. Here are several ways that the cloud is NOT safe and how you can make it MORE safe.

Credential Theft is Rampant in the Cloud

74% of data breaches begin with credential abuse. If a hacker can gain access to just one username and password for your cloud account, they can do all sorts of things that will harm your business. These include things like:

  • Planting malware
  • Stealing confidential information
  • Infecting your files with ransomware
  • Using an employee cloud email account to send phishing and spam
  • Gaining access to more user account credentials

One of the best ways to guard against credential theft of your cloud platform login details is to use multi-factor authentication. This typically is not enabled by default, it’s a customization that you need to have turned on. It stops hackers that have a stolen password by requiring another authentication factor (a code that’s sent to a device) before granting access.

Cloud Servers Can Crash

Just because your data is “in the cloud” doesn’t mean that it magically is protected from all harm. Cloud servers are physical servers, and they can suffer the same types of crashes, power surges, and malware attacks as an on-premises server.

This means that you could end up with severe data loss or a long-term loss of the ability to access critical information if you haven’t properly backed up that data.

You can mitigate this risk by backing up your cloud data in a 3rd party backup and recovery application designed to backup cloud system data.

Cloud Providers Have Outages

Nothing brings an office to a standstill faster than when a critical cloud provider has an outage. Users get errors when trying to login and are powerless to do anything but wait until the outage has passed.

Some recent major cloud service outages include:

  • Twice in January of 2019, Microsoft Office 365 customers experienced outages for programs like Skype, Teams, Exchange Online and other apps.
  • For 3.5 hours in March 2019, Gmail and Google Drive both had problems resulting in the inability to send email and strange error messages.
  • In May of 2019, Salesforce users had problems accessing vital customer data for three days while the cloud provider worked through a major outage issue.

Two safeguards you have to ensure you’re not without critical data due a cloud outage is to: 1) Backup all data that is in your cloud services; and 2) Use a cloud hybrid solution whenever possible.

Cloud hybrid solutions include programs like Office 365, which allow you to work in certain tools (Word, Excel, etc.) offline as well as online. This means you can still access the program and your locally stored files in the event of an outage.

Security Settings Are Not All Defaulted to “On”

Cloud platforms can get hacked, and if you haven’t customized your security settings, you could end up being more vulnerable than you need to be. When you first subscribe to a cloud service, it most likely won’t have the most secure settings defaulted to being on, which could leave your data and accounts at risk of a breach.

Get help from an IT professional, like IP Technologies, that is familiar with the security customizations available in various cloud platforms. Those customizations can include things like additional document security and account access protocols that can significantly increase the security of your accounts.

Don’t Leave Yourself Vulnerable! Get Help with Cloud Security

IP Technologies offers several cloud security support options to ensure your business data is safe and your accounts are protected from compromise.

Contact us today for a free consultation. Call 704-912-4999 or reach out online.