The big advantage of using a cloud hosting service is the time and money you save by not having to maintain your own servers. In fact, the emergence of cloud options has essentially eliminated the need for small businesses to spend money on server hardware. But even “outsourcing” all of your site hosting and file storage needs does not mean you can take a passive approach to security. There are still a handful of important security responsibilities that cloud consumers must stay on top of in order to protect their data.
Software and Platform Updates
You can be confident that a trusted cloud supplier is constantly working behind the scenes to block attacks on their servers. However, they still rely on customers to play an important role in security. Your tasks begin with maintaining software and service updates as they roll out.
Did you know that the majority of software updates are security related? You are likely familiar with the frequent updates sent out by Windows Operating Systems, Adobe programs, and CMS platforms like WordPress. The important thing here is that you stay on top of these updates to prevent viruses and attacks from entering your network. Now your cloud provider does have additional systems in place to prevent the spread of infected files, but by maintaining every layer of security you will significantly decrease the odds of a major problem.
The more employees you have on your network increases the odds of security breach. This is why it is essential for business owners to train all employees on the best practices for network security. From how to identify phising attacks to proper file management strategies, you simply cannot expect your employees to follow protocol unless you have instructed them in detail. A half-day seminar led by your IT manager has the potential to save you several days of lost work if user errors are prevented.
Taking a proactive approach to cloud security includes keeping in touch with your provider. Just like a regular checkup at the doctor, scanning your cloud account for problem areas is a pivotal part of avoiding long term issues. Your account manager will do most of the technical work here, but you will need to answer usage questions and discuss strategy. One thing to update during the audit is your emergency contact list. Make sure you have a way to contact the cloud support team at all times. You don’t want to wait until business hours to reach a technician, especially if a problem occurs over the weekend.
Employing the three strategies listed above should be an easy and inexpensive way to maximize the security of your cloud hosting service. Keep in mind that the most important step is to choose a trusted provider from the beginning. But even the best service in the world still requires your company to do their part. Network security is a team effort, and playing an active role will go a long way to keeping your data secure.
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