Considerations for Securing Cloud Data for Small Business | Business Technology

Small to large enterprises are taking a significant step in revolutionizing the way they manage company data and information using the cloud computing technology. The emergence of cloud computing has changed the landscape of information technology in most business enterprises and revamped the resources of information management thereby reducing the costs and operation complexities within the organization. Using cloud computing provides a very practical solution for enterprises and there are several hybrids of cloud computing database services that you can avail in the market today.The era of cloud computing technologyMost of the business enterprises these days have moved to the cloud applications. This is not merely a fad or a trend but rather a shift from using the traditional software for data management and moving to the cloud which is an internet based software that keeps your data together. It enhances the ability of collaborative exchange of company data within an organization using varieties of devices. It negates the use of the traditional expensive software that can involve a complicated process of installing, managing, testing and securing information technology within a business organization. Using the cloud computing service provides a better means of centralized data storage infrastructure using the cloud applications.The explosion of cloud computing services and threatsThe cloud computing technology provides cost effective and operational management efficiency process that helped many business enterprises to accelerate their information technology exchanges. This helps in meeting the demands for agility and flexibility from their business operations. However, the cloud computing technology is accompanied with security threats and risks owing to the evolving IT landscape changes. As a cloud computing data user, it is essential for business enterprises to observe adequate security measures to complement the existing built-in security present to the cloud computing data server. The major sources of the potential threats involving the security breach on cloud computing emanate from cybercrime activities that can penetrate the built-in security features of a cloud computing server, most of which are directed towards stealing company trade secrets and intellectual property breach.

Securing cloud data for your businessPrudence is the usual governing principle that you can observe in securing your business cloud data storage. While most of the data computing software providers already have their own security measures that aim to define a better protection to keep your stored data protected and safe when using the system, business enterprises can take their own security measure to further strengthen their cloud data security.1. Exercise control over employees with access to company sensitive data on the cloudBusiness enterprises usually designate a particular employee to be an administrator to the company cloud data storage system. There are also a number of employees enjoying the privilege of accessing the company’s cloud data which contains intellectual property materials and company trade secrets. Business enterprises should employ proper security measure in limiting the access to the cloud data storage of these employees in order to prevent any potential leakage and security breach. These employees are considered to be confidential employees who are trusted by the company to handle and manage the company’s sensitive data and information. Being as such they should undergo the proper training on how to securely handle these data and perform a more controlled cloud data management system.2. Segregate cloud data informationSome data on the cloud may consist of information needed for the efficient management and operational activities of a business organization that are shared and constantly exchanged among employees. In order to exercise a better access control on the cloud, it is a primary concern of the IT managers of a company to segregate the cloud data available and employing an additional encryption process before one can access more sensitive company information. Company data must be segregated according to their level of sensitivity and provide an additional security encryption to process requests for access on the cloud and with effective monitoring process on each level of cloud data.3. IT security should constantly update and monitor cloud data access and securityAs you implement different layers of security measures on your encryption system, your IT engineering and staff should undertake a constant monitoring about your cloud data access, keeping your system up to date with regards to the security measures implemented. Cyber attacks continue to take different forms and constantly evolve thus your encryption security system should be updated to meet the changing demands on your data security and protection needs.4. Isolate company data from personal data on mobile devicesIt has become a common practice among business enterprises for the employees to use their own personal devices to access the company cloud data which enhances mobility of information exchange and data sharing at the workplace. Companies should be able to isolate the company data from the employee’s personal data when accessing them using their personal devices. Installing a patch management system on your employee’s mobile devices is often needed in order to check for any vulnerability on their device to the company cloud data storage. Implementing a policy requiring employees to surrender their mobile devices for better authentication checking and to subject their device to a stringent mobile device management system is an effective measure. This not only secures the device’s manner of access to company data on the cloud but also provides proper authentication and encryption process to protect security breach over the cloud data system and to isolate personal from company data access through the device.

5. Adapt an internal and dynamic perimeter control and advanced analyticsThe employment of advanced analytics to an enterprise’s cloud data system will help provide a security layer that will keep all valuable security data together within an objective view. It is easier to evaluate the cloud infrastructure with the real time reports on the security system performance of the cloud storage system. With a dynamic internal security perimeter you have better control on who can access, how to access, what to access and when to access the cloud data server within any given time and to protect sensitive data by exercising stringent data control and management within your cloud data system.Cloud Computing is a game changer for Small Business but don’t get caught off guard with securing your valuable data. With power comes responsibility! Learn some basic concepts to get you on the playing field with those larger competitors

4 Steps for Managing Your Small Business Technology Costs

A few simple steps can help you make the most of your expenditures throughout the lifecycle of the technology. Servers, desktops, software, networking equipment and peripherals add up, but you do need them to keep your business running. Follow these steps to make cost-effective decisions.

1. Weigh Financing Options

Aside from purchasing, financing and leasing are viable options for a small business. Consider a combination of the three when going through the buying process. Installing and configuring the technology could also be financed and bundled into regular payments. Does the company you’re buying from provide “new and authorized by the manufacturer” sales? After you’ve got the equipment up and running, this could enable your company to get updates or enhancements directly from the manufacturer–and dealing with problems will be much simpler.

2. Warranty Wisely

Anticipate growth and business changes and decide whether or not the technology you are selecting today can carry you through these changes. Take into account the time that it will be considered useful for your business. To protect yourself when financing or leasing, align the term of the agreement with the warranty period. That way you’ll have protection direct from the manufacturer during the period of time you intend to own it.

3. Consider Total Cost

Prepare and budget for other costs to support your technology. For example, toner cartridges typically cost the owner or a laser printer two to three times the initial cost of the printer. Consider a program such as a Managed Print Service to include these costs in the monthly price. Typically this will lower the total lifetime cost.

4. Plan for Disposing of the Equipment

Considering your company’s strategy around technology disposal or recycling at the front end. There are basically 3 ways to properly dispose of technology at the end of the useful life:

Sell the equipment
Donate the technology to a school, non-profit, etc.
Formal Disposition – Certified companies will assure your computers or other hardware and software will be properly disposed of, including recycling and reuse of components. Another benefit: Your data is destroyed and made unrecoverable by professionals rather than relying on inexperienced staffers.

The total cost of ownership of technology includes more than the upfront price tag. Consider the total lifecycle costs of IT for your business, plan ahead and you’ll make sure you’re maximizing your investment.