Small Business and Cloud Storage: Is Your Data Secure?

November 18, 2020 •

In today’s highly competitive environment, businesses compete to provide the best, most secure customer experience possible. That explains why they are always on the lookout for detailed customer insights to optimize both consumer and business potentials. Digital innovations such as cloud system technology systematically organize data for maximum reach and performance; and is increasingly the preferred method for data storage. According to research from Markets and Markets, the market for cloud migration service in the US alone is expected to grow to $623.3 billion by 2023.

As companies rush to cloud adoption for the perceived safety and efficiency gains, the need for cyber-risk assessments of all computing technologies is growing. Even though cloud computing services can improve data security by identifying threats and making large vendor attacks visible, individual company data may still be sacrificed. How can a small business ensure data protection? And who is responsible for the breach: the company or the vendor?

Who Is Responsible For Cloud Security?

During the migration of data to a cloud-based system, many companies assume that they have also transferred the risk to these third-party applications. However, this isn’t completely true. Even though the consequences of a security breach lie with the cloud vendor legally, the obligation to host this data ultimately comes under the company’s responsibility; hence, companies are responsible for covering the costs of a data breach that effects their customers. Any cost of lost data, dealing with customer lawsuits, and responding to regulators must be borne by the company.

Because of the intermittent protection offered by cloud providers companies must be diligent in selecting their cloud data provider while also taking internal precautions to managing data.

What Strategies Can You Employ to Safeguard Your Cloud Data?

Companies use cloud technologies to store high-priority information like social security numbers, credit card numbers, and intellectual property information. Given that stakes are this high, companies have to ensure maximum security measures to keep this information safe and prevent a security breach. The availability of this high-priority information is also why cloud-based systems make an attractive target for cybercriminals.

What are some of the practices that companies should undertake to protect users’ data from cyber-attacks and data theft?

Check Your Cloud Service Provider’s (CSP) Security Policies

Cloud computing security policies are designed to protect cloud environments from unauthorized attacks, malware, and other security risks. However, before you decide to migrate all your data to cloud-based technology, it is essential to view and assess the security requirements offered by the service.

Monitoring in-cloud security measures are important, but even more important are the physical restrictions that your CSP implements for keeping your data. Is there a 24/7 surveillance camera checking the entry and exit of people into data centers? What are the hiring practices? Is a full background check conducted for every employee in the data center?

Moreover, given that data centers operate in high-risk environments, regular electricity quality checks are undertaken to eliminate any significant data risk. What is their backup power plan?

Another critical point to keep in check is the geographical location of your CSP’s data center. There might be a possibility that your CSP optimizes operations all around the globe. If that’s the case and your data require organization restrictions, it is advisable to ensure that the CSP keeps your data in the right geo-location.

Additionally, it is also a good idea to check your CSP’s record of dealing with security breaches (if there have been any).

Encrypt All Your Data Before Uploading

Using local encryptions as an additional layer of security to protect your data is the best way to save your data from a breach once it’s stored in the cloud. By creating passwords for a given file, you can even protect your data from administrators and staff within your company to provide limited access. The CSP should also offer data encryption, but you can further safeguard your data with this approach.

Train Your Employees to Spot Any Phishing Attacks

Phishing, a form of social engineering, is a fraudulent attempt at a business in which the hacker impersonates a legitimate brand to obtain sensitive information or data in electronic communication. Phishing is one of the most common cyber social attacks and is responsible for more than 90% of security breaches. Small businesses are especially vulnerable.

This is why employees should be trained to recognize patterns in emails that might indicate that the sender is not reputable. Most phishing emails include a link that redirects users to an impersonated page of a reputable brand (like The Office 365 phishing attack). Your employees should be able to identify URLs and pop-ups that display the link’s real destination.

Structured cybersecurity awareness training is recommended for all employees with a company email address.

Get Cyber Liability Insurance Protection

Due to the government’s implementation of cyber-risk regulations and increasingly frequent cyber-attacks, more companies are looking for improved cyber risk management. Insurance companies have stepped up to the challenge of cyber security by becoming and employing experts in handling cyber security threats and breaches. Insurance companies have invested in improving their expertise and coverage options in the cyber space for all types and sizes of businesses as it has become a growing need for all customers. Insurance firms can provide legal and forensic support following a cyber-attack, which would be covered by a cyber liability insurance policy. Without a policy, companies would have to figure it out on their own; and bear the cost. Not only does a cyber liability policy cover your loss of income during security breaches, but it also covers the cost of damages and the fees incurred in fighting lawsuits, recovering compromised data, and fixing damaged systems and loopholes.

The cyber insurance market is one of the fastest growing sectors of insurance with an expected CAGR of 26.3% between 2020-2030.

Conduct a Cyber Risk Assessment of Your Company

Having an external cyber risk assessment is essential to keep your digital security from being compromised. The NOW Insurance free cyber risk assessment tool provides technology to quantify, benchmark, and mitigate the financial impact of cyber-attacks on your business. Predictive models and data are used by leading corporations for cyber insurance, supply-chain risk, and security assessments. We can spot your business’s vulnerabilities and provide recommendations to improve weaknesses.

Move Up and Beyond Your CSP’s Security Measures with NOW Insurance

Cloud computing has made it possible for companies to store immense amounts of data and company workflows offsite in an organized and streamlined fashion.

If you want to make the most out of cloud-based technologies, it’s best to pair them with a tailored cyber liability insurance policy for complete protection and peace of mind. We specialize in policies for small businesses. Cyber-attacks and security breaches are only going to rise with time, and cybercriminals become more sophisticated every year. The only way businesses can fight cyber threats is to stay prepared with conscious risk management and the right insurance protection.

To learn more about how NOW Insurance can help optimize data security, visit our website. You can also get an instant quote by filling out our quick and easy cyber liability application and a representative will get in touch with you soon.