The use of cloud data services is one of the best investments any small business can make in today’s digital world.  Because your business data is hosted virtually it can offer cost savings, flexibility and freedom for your teams to access your business information from any location.  It is also a great way to easily be able to share information and documents. Cloud services are finally delivering the promised cost savings that were first touted over 10 years ago.  However, as with everything there are risks. With the number of online data security breaches on the rise, you need to be sure that there are measures in place to keep the critical business information protected and safe without wiping out the initial cost benefit. Cloud data security is now the main concern of prospective users of these services – is my data safe?

What is cloud data security?

Cloud data security is a set of control-based technologies and policies around protecting information, data and infrastructure associated with cloud computing use.  In February 2015 the Cloud Industry Forum announced that overall cloud adoption rate in the UK stood at 84% with almost 78% of cloud users having formally adopted two or more services.  With an almost daily announcement from large organisations being at risk of a data breach, security of data has never been more important.   Whilst there seems to have been an early adoption of cloud usage by UK businesses many are still very concerned about the protection of their data.

What are the best cloud storage solutions for a small business?

The reasons small businesses look to the cloud are specific to their industry. These include:

  • Cost savings versus on premise options
  • Lack of resource and expertise to operate applications
  • Need for specific services that are difficult to deliver on premise. (collaboration tools, CRM, communication systems, etc)

There are a number of great cloud services available for a small business CLICK HERE , to read on to discover some of the most popular options.  As with everything though it is key to assess your business requirements and then make sure you find the right solution for your organisation.  Making sure that you only purchase the services which you need and monitor constantly.

5 things you should know about using cloud services:

There are many things which need to be considered once you have defined what is needed and narrowed down your potential providers, here are some top five aspects to consider:

  1. Look to encrypt your data in the cloud to ensure you protect your data as far as possible even if it is accessed. However, encryption needs keys and these need to be managed securely too.
  2. Have a contingency plan, if your chosen cloud provider should go out of business or you have to move for some reason, be aware of the next best providers for your industry.
  3. Understand all of the costs associated to using cloud applications and data storage and ensure you can see how it will scale. Many organisations are tempted initially by competitive rates but continue to store more data resulting in higher cost brackets being hit.
  4. Make sure there is an application and data back-up service in place, depending upon the nature of your business ensure that your data is backed up as frequently as you can afford to lose. By day, by hour or continuously.
  5. Access controls are so important in your own environment but more so with cloud usage. Before adopting any cloud service, review your access controls and limit access only to specific users. Remove all historical access and use ‘least privilege’ principle as much as possible.

Solutions to Cloud Data Security

There are many products that advocate being able to offer cloud data security.  At Guardian Technologies we work very closely with EgoSecure and others.  EgoSecure’s offers technology to enable you to quickly understand your data security situation and then protect it against the risks for your organisation.  EgoSecure has a number of modules available, enabling the business to scale up or down as required depending upon your needs and keeping all of your security controls in one place.

If you would like a free initial consultation to assess your individual business data security or to request a demonstration please email: Rupert.beeby@guardiantechnologies.co.uk

Keeping your data secure.

Sources:

https://www.skyhighnetworks.com/cloud-security-blog/12-must-know-statistics-on-cloud-usage-in-the-enterprise/

http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/5851-cloud-storage-solutions.html

http://www.cio.com/article/2377060/cloud-computing/9-things-you-need-to-know-before-you-store-data-in-the-cloud.html

https://www.cloudindustryforum.org/content/uk-cloud-adoption-rate-climbs-84-finds-new-research-cloud-industry-forum

http://www.computerweekly.com/feature/Cloud-computing-UK-companies-adopt-eagerly-but-often-insecurely