hacker in action

With so many more IT options for small businesses now that used to only be reserved for huge organizations, there are also higher security risks when small businesses choose to use cloud-based storage systems. Cloud-based data storage systems allow a user to store data in a remote location and access it online from anywhere.

Here are four simple ways to improve security in small businesses when using cloud-based storage systems:

1. Advanced Firewall

A basic firewall is one that most cloud-based services have to offer, and while these can keep out most automated access attempts by simple viruses or novice hackers. However according to many small business IT support companies they are not advanced enough to keep out more experienced hackers, nor do they prevent some suspicious traffic from slipping in. Make sure that the cloud-based company you are looking into has advanced firewall techniques in place that are both extremely difficult to penetrate from the outside and fairly easy for you to manage from the inside.

2. Advanced Threat Protection

This goes for both your cloud-based security system as well as the personal computers used by your team members. As technology advances, so do the methods used by cyber-thieves. Many times, their methods are much harder to detect, and the siphoning of data occurs automatically which makes it less likely to set off anti-virus alerts.

Make sure you have software in place on all of your computers that offers the most advanced threat protection available, and that the cloud-based systems you utilize also have similarly advanced virus protection in place to protect your remotely-stored data as well. Many of the viruses today are downloaded through very safe-looking links and websites, and once they settle onto your computer, they steal specific types of data and relay them back to their origins. This can go on for months or even years without detection without proper virus protection in place.

3. Secure Wireless Connection

This is easily one of the simplest steps to take to help protect the data of your small business, and it’s one that many people miss. You need to have a secure wireless connection that has encryption and WPA. WPA stands for Wi-Fi Protected Access and is an important part of protecting your small business’s data.

One way to do this is to keep guest Wi-Fi networks completely separate from your primary network. Guest Wi-Fi networks that allow visitors to your business to access the internet should never be connected to the network that you use to upload and store sensitive information.

4. Advanced Data Leak Protection

Most data leaks occur because the data that is being sent and received by the virus software that may have been implanted on your computer appears to be legitimate traffic. Because this data itself doesn’t appear to be dangerous, it is largely ignored by both firewalls and anti-virus software and continues to allow this data to leak out of your computer and into the hands of people that want to use it for their own good.

To avoid this common kind of data leaks, make sure you find software that has features designed specifically to detect the undirected traveling of this type of information to or from your computer. Two of the most common types of data that are stolen are credit card or bank account numbers or social security numbers. Both of these can then be used for identity theft.

Choosing a cloud-based system that has advanced data leak protection can help keep the sensitive information you have on your customers safe and secure where it belongs. These types of systems will both prevent and notify you if any information is being sent or received by unknown servers.Business security doesn’t stop here, though, make sure you have a comprehensive IT plan in place. Keeping your customer information secure is vitally important for maintaining excellent customer relations and a good reputation.