28 Dec Data Security: Securing the Cloud for Teams
Enterprise grade cloud tools such as Google Docs, social media, Dropbox, private emails, as well as several other sharing resources that are used by your employees add an immense productivity boost. They help your workforce stay accessible and stay productive anytime, anywhere. However it is also equally true that these tools often fail to provide the necessary security, thus creating loopholes in the corporate network.
With the increased use of such cloud resources within your company, a blanket ban won’t prove to be a favorable option. Therefore, business owners and IT leaders will have to identify infrastructure management strategies.
Identifying the root cause
Cloud security issues can be severe and highly dangerous. While most of the employees know the hazards of opening suspicious web documents or email attachments, you will also find employees considering file sharing sites to be safe. Now that really pushes them towards clicking on links shared via those platforms. Scores of ransomware attacks have already originated in cloud environments and percolated through free cloud-storage websites. These websites lack controlled security access.
Malicious attacks happen to be simply one half of this grave issue. You can decide to backup documents on these platforms, but that will make your documents highly vulnerable. It is here that you must raise critical questions about its security.
- How safe is your critical business data?
- Do they stand the chance of creating links to private folders, easily identifiable by hackers?
- Is it accessible from the private devices of your employees (Not to forget the possibilities of these devices getting lost or being left unlocked)?
- Are the passwords prone to hacks easily?
Determining the data’s future
While addressing this issue, you will have two broad choices.
- Firstly, you can put everything under lock, provide secured and approved tools, and prohibit your workforce from making new installations.
- The second option is to place reliance on your employees while giving them security instructions, thus hoping they won’t commit terrible errors.
If you review both these options, the first one will prove to be highly relevant for firms operating in defense or judicial arena. However, the same rules might seem to be unnecessarily restrictive as well as too costly for SMEs and small organizations to gain any RoI.
Hence, we arrive at the conclusion that most businesses would want to strike a balance between business security and collaborative work culture.
What is required?
An adaptive and smart approach can prove to be beneficial in striking this balance. The system must be capable of recognizing differences between contents. Managers will wish to restrain employees from working from home in case of a mission critical high level meeting. Similarly they would not want confidential financial projections to exist in cloud drives and email attachments.
Furthermore, some of the documents will be perfectly shareable after certain facts are removed from them. Say, for instance; it is fine to share your order with a logistics service provider, but not your bank details or credit card information.
Embracing the adaptive approaches
Let’s assume you are not one of those key players operating in a highly confidential sector, and wish your employees to reap the benefits of cloud technology. Here’s some of the highly useful tips for you.
- Know your data
Having all information to hand about your data is the first step, understanding its importance as well as psychical location. Protecting crucial business data will prove to be a distant dream if you are completely unaware about what to save and where to protect.
- DLP systems
Accurately configured DLP or Data Loss Prevention systems help in monitoring your network boundaries and data transfer activities. IT experts can utilize this particular system to identify data transfer occurring via unknown channels. IT professionals will get to know about the sites in use, and people using them. These crucial pieces of information will help them make smart decisions about the acceptability and relevance of working practices as well as collaborative tools, thus educating employees on their safe use.
- Assessing data value
Business owners need to assess data. That will help them find out the importance of business contents. There is simply no need for setting stringent security rules. All you need to do is set up the security system in such a manner, that it protects highly confidential information such as customer database, credit card and social security numbers, etc; both in case of cloud-based as well as email collaboration platforms.
- Be context-aware
Security decisions can also be taken according to context. As business owners, it will be on you to keep a check on the uploaded documents.
- Malware detection
Present-day business owners find it extremely difficult to identify malware, as they are embedded in documents with a harmless appearance. Having a DLP solution in place will automatically strip your documents off active content, thus preventing malware. Quite inevitably, data will be secured against DropBox ransomware issue.
If any of your employees receive or download executable files with virus, DLP solutions will immediately identify and remove it from the network.
- Remove critical information
Separating revision history and meta-data from documents will prove to be beneficial. Most of the people fail to realize the fact that their documents might have hidden information. These pieces of information include facts about professionals working on particular projects. Now that is something huge for wrongdoers.
Remove such information by default, and that will be the best solution.
- Educate your employees
Although technology plays a crucial role in ensuring data security, employee education is also of paramount significance. Proper knowledge of data security tools and situations will help employees use them in a better fashion.
Fulfilling the ultimate dream: A safe and collaborative organization
The solutions discussed in this article provide cost-effective initiatives for data security. Business owners and IT experts will have the opportunity of incorporating them into existing business security infrastructure.
SMEs will have reasons enough to breath a sigh of releif, as they can now work with cost-effective data security technology and solutions, without incurring huge expenses. Business will no longer need to embrace replace and rip strategies to face present-day security threats.
Organizations will just need to craft a feasible blend of such tech innovations with proper training policies. As an outcome, it won’t be long before every organization turns into a collaborative, agile, updated, and adaptive business establishment.