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5 Cloud Security Mistakes That Businesses Should Avoid

By Jenna Bunnell - Senior Manager, Content Marketing, Dialpad

During the past year, many companies have been forced to send their workers home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This sudden shift toward remote work caused a mass cloud exodus. Although cloud services have risen to the occasion, many businesses were not ready to jump on the cloud bandwagon in 2020.

If this unexpected migration caught you off guard, you might be unaware of the cloud security measures needed to protect your business. If you're worried about potential threats and how they could affect your company, don't despair. This list of common cloud cybersecurity mistakes will help you understand the dos and don'ts.

Because, when you stop and think about it, the first step toward mitigating risks is understanding what types of mistakes companies like yours tend to make. This will allow you to avoid the consequences that come with these common cloud security breaches.

1. Poor encryption standards

In the digital era, data encryption is more important than ever. This is particularly true for those types of eCommerce digital companies that operate using sensitive intel. Online shopping platforms where card payments are a frequent occurrence should have data encryption as a priority.

That being said, it's important to note that being PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards) compliant is the bare minimum. The best enterprise network security products are those that include top-tier encryption methods.

If you're serious about data protection, end-to-end data encryption is the best way to secure your customers' and staff members' information. Recently, some new methods have started to garner attention. Encryption algorithms like the Advanced Encryption Standard, for example, are proving popular.

This algorithm, which can work across both hardware and software, uses end-to-end encryption. To decrypt the data, a special key is needed from both the sender and receiver.

 

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2. Not being actively involved in cybersecurity

In other words: being lazy. Understandably, many business owners are not cybersecurity experts. However, leaving security entirely to the cloud provider is a mistake that can lead to disastrous consequences.

To be fair, the cloud service should not be your entire responsibility; however, the data and services hosted on that server are, and you must do everything in your power to keep them as safe and secure as possible.

Giving your staff members some basic training regarding cloud security and how to avoid any issues is one way of covering ground. Remember: better to be safe than sorry.

3. Unmonitored zombie cloud servers

Outdated cloud infrastructures - commonly referred to as "zombie clouds" - are extremely vulnerable to cyberattacks. Since they tend to be neglected once they reach the end of their lifespan, they end up being abandoned.

This lack of monitoring means that if compromised or breached, an attacker could use them as an entry point and jump host to compromise other aspects of the network. These threats can affect servers, virtual firewalls, and entire cloud networks containing assets and data

The best way to fight these potential issues is to keep your cloud servers updated. Monitor your cloud infrastructure closely, the same way you do your remote workforce or your stock. If you're willing to invest in employee monitoring software and inventory control, why wouldn't you keep your cloud monitored as well?

If you're not willing to invest in updating your cloud - even though you should - then consider segmenting it or using a multi-cloud system to avoid compromising the entire network in the event of a breach.

4. Neglecting access control

A lack of access control can not only compromise your cloud's security but affect its performance too. Any type of shared network requires access control to avoid overcrowding. Since the cloud is shared by a large number of users, even the simplest issue could lead to a catastrophic error.

You will understand these issues if you have experience working with collaborative tools like an Excel Gantt chart; one mistake is all it takes to ruin everything. If you don't implement any access control measures, you know how chaotic things can get when multiple people are working on the same spreadsheet.

With cloud systems, the problem is not dissimilar. Having strong password and identity authentication measures is excellent to avoid attacks, but restricting access to particular areas of the server is also important to avoid non-malicious breaches caused by inexperienced clients or workers.

password combo 

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5. Keeping cloud-connected systems outside the firewall

As we mentioned at the beginning, during the pandemic, many companies were forced to make the switch to remote working. With their workforce at home, businesses resorted to cloud-hosted web conferencing software and VoIP phones to keep a sense of normalcy.

However, many companies forgot that these systems are powered by cloud computing and act as a connected endpoint. For that reason, it's important for staff members to remember that, like any other computing device, VoIP phones need to be secured by the corporate firewall and encryption previously mentioned.

As you may have already guessed, hackers can attack these weak points to access the larger system and steal data from your cloud. If you want to reinforce your business phone app, the best thing you can do is invest your time and resources in cybersecurity.

For those businesses interested in deploying said devices in their workers' homes, this process is more complicated. Remember that cloud security training we talked about earlier? This is when such measures prove their worth.

If your workforce isn't ready to face major cloud threats, don't despair; you can always contact your cloud provider if any issues arise. Additionally, adding some cloud cybersecurity experts to your team is a good idea if you're looking for more robust VoIP troubleshooting measures.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jenna Bunnell - Senior Manager, Content Marketing, Dialpad

Jenna Bunnell 

Jenna Bunnell is the Senior Manager for Content Marketing at Dialpad, an AI-incorporated call center analytics software and cloud-hosted unified communications system that provides valuable call details for business owners and sales representatives. She is driven and passionate about communicating a brand's design sensibility and visualizing how content can be presented in creative and comprehensive ways. Here is her LinkedIn.

Published Tuesday, June 01, 2021 7:32 AM by David Marshall
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