Cloud computing is the future of business for many reasons including reducing costs, the rise of home-working, as well as the extra reliability compared to traditional hardware storing data. However, it is important to understand the risks associated with cloud computing before diving in with your business’s vital files. In this blog, we will cover what some of these risks are, and how they can be avoided.
1 – Levels Of Access Management
One risk with cloud computing is the different levels of access available at any one time to your users. When this is mismanaged it can make attacks from hackers much more likely. To avoid this, prioritising secure access management is important. Using multi-factor authentication is one of the more common ways to do this, alongside reactive hacker systems such as a mass account logout and password reset.
It is also important to only grant your teams access to the things that they need; for example, the design team does not need access to financial information or sensitive HR documentation. So they will need a different level of access to an HR representative. Managing the levels of access should be left with a senior member of staff and no passwords or other important information should be stored where they can be easily accessed.
2 – Data Loss
Another common risk with cloud computing is accidental data loss. Losing important data, whether due to software or user error can, be incredibly frustrating. This has the potential to lead to substantial income and work output losses. A simple way to reduce the damage of data loss is having offline backups of templates, important client information, and sensitive employee data. Another way to deal with this is by giving each employee their own backup hard disk which is protected.
3 – Viruses and Malware
Being on the cloud potentially makes you and your business more vulnerable to malware and virus attacks. With an abundance of software, extensions, and websites out there to help you. It is vital to use trustworthy platforms with either positive Google reviews, an industry-trusted image, and HTTPS websites. Additionally, it’s important to ensure that your cloud service provider has systems in place that can deal with malware and potential viruses.
4 – Ineffective API
Another risk with cloud computing comes from using an ineffective API. All cloud-based solutions use APIs to enable the end user to access and configure the software to their desired layout. With this in mind, APIs present a security risk as they can be easily changed if they are not programmed securely. To avoid this, various access points to an API need to be secured on both the client and developer sides. Make sure to check with your cloud service provider that this is possible before commencing with any long-term contracts.
5 – Reduced customer/client numbers
Our final risk associated with cloud computing involves keeping your data organised and secure. As your business grows, your CMS system will naturally grow, with new customer data such as personal information and payment details added each day. Hackers prey on data, so as you continue to grow you will inevitably become a bigger target for them.
To prevent hackers from accessing this data, it’s important to have security procedures in place that include offline backups of existing data, and archiving and deleting former customer data. Without these simple procedures in place, you could face unhappy customers, as well as a potential lawsuit.
So how can you overcome the risks associated with cloud computing?
The most important thing to note with cloud computing is that it is very much the future for most businesses in all industries. This means that it is only likely to become more secure as even more investment is put into it. Don’t let these risks put you off starting the transition. As long as you go with a good provider with a solid piece of tech, and keep on top of maintenance and the range of permissions available. You should be able to enjoy the wonderful benefits of cloud computing with no stress.
At Sefas, our Harmonie Communication Suite combines five different programs into one, with the goal of providing an all-in-one solution for customer communication. If you think that a cloud-based customer communications tool would help your business, please get in contact with us today.
Steve Narancic, Head of Service Providers Business Development, Sefas UK