As a new startup, your first order of business will be to protect your data, consumer information and secure the cloud. As technology changes and legislation soon follows, your information may become more vulnerable. The U.S. National Cyber Security Alliance estimates that 60 percent of small businesses fail within six months because of cyber attacks.
Smaller companies and start-ups can lack the resources needed to prevent cyber attacks. As a new start-up, it’s important to continue finding cloud services that make your information safer and processes more efficient.
Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) Aren’t All The Same
Choosing a CSP will help store information in a safe and secure way. Unauthorized cloud services can lead to malware hacks. Not all CSPs are the same. Your basic criteria for choosing a CSP should include verified certifications, business policies aligned with yours, reliability during IT disasters, and disclosure of their relationships with vendors. Security and data governance policies and processes are part of a provider assessment. Ask questions about policies and procedures that are in place in the event that a data breach occurs.
Security Breaches Happen
No matter how big or small your company is, security breaches are a threat, even to your CSP. Cyber criminals are always finding new ways to get your data. It’s their job! Once hacked, your sensitive information can easily be sold or locked down through a ransomware attack. E-commerce, online support, or CRM start-ups are at an increasingly high risk because these businesses store and collect consumer information.
As a start-up, the risk for a security breach is an immediate threat. Most companies are able to monitor their servers on a biweekly or weekly basis. Bigger companies manage their servers on a minute-to-minute basis. A reliable IT team can keep up to date information on security breaches and inform employees on the most up to date practices.
Securing The Cloud Requires Encryption
Encrypt your data, even while the device is at rest. Almost 90% of passwords can be cracked, according to Ars Technica. Encrypting your data is extremely important to reduce your vulnerability. Even while your device appears to be in sleep mode or the cloud is not actively backing up, passwords are still at risk.
A startup may only require encryption on a basic level – passwords and basic account information. Companies who do not have an extensive IT budget may use other encryption methods such as redacting or obfuscating. The data can remain confidential because of more simplified algorithms.
On-Demand Self Service Simplifies Unauthorized Use
On-demand self service simplifies authorized use when implementing Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Security as a Service (SaaS) products. By default, the probability of unauthorized use of cloud services increases over time. IT personnel can implement personal services that do not require the consent of an agency. Seek to establish cloud assessment criteria (BITS, CSA, ISO etc) and ensure that the specific cloud-hosted vendors you work with meet your company standards.
Hackers love small businesses. Start-ups should be aware of new technologies for security and compliance risk software. Implement a multi-level verification system to protect against sensitive information hacks. Multi-level verification can provide an extra layer of authentication. An example may be creating a password rotation policy where even admin passwords expire after a given amount of time.
Insecure Application Programming Interfaces (APIs)
An API allows a company to customize their cloud experience and interface. APIs are a threat to cloud security due to their nature – customizable features allow for easy encryption, access, and authentication. APIs require a lot of time and attention. One slight mishap can cause an API to become insecure and enable automation in a vulnerable way. As a startup, focus on authentication and authorization of data, especially while using APIs. Secure APIs by asking cloud customers to allow penetration tests and vulnerability assessments to perform against a third-party provider.
Data Deletion Doesn’t Always Complete
Data deletion is critically important. When using the cloud, sensitive data may not always be entirely deleted and may be read by third parties. This is most common when data is transported from one system to another. Your startup may consider downloading a TLS (Transport Layer Security) system to ensure the transportation of data is secure.
Malware Injections are a Common Threat
Malware injections are scripts or code embedded into cloud services and can run on valid servers, including the cloud. Once an injection happens, the integrity of data immediately becomes compromised. Hackers are clever in disguising malware software.
Malvertising is a new threat to the cyber world. It is a form of malicious advertising that requires the hacker to advertise on a legitimate space. All malware injections can occur within the cloud. You can help protect your business against this by sticking to software and services by verified, reputable companies.
Stored Data May Get Lost
The cloud and the way you use it will continue to change and requires continuous upkeep. It’s likely that the way you store data will continue to evolve. Data loss can be attributed to human error or even malicious insiders. Data loss occurring in the cloud can put consumer information at risk.
Help your company plan for cyber attacks and security breaches by implementing strong security practices. Provide up to date training for your employees to change and update their security practices.
Guest Author: David Olson is a writer, eBook author, and content strategist for companies. He specializes in covering the latest developments in technology and how they help companies communicate with evolving consumer bases worldwide.