The Yellow Pages won’t cut it anymore. In 2020, your business needs to be online. By establishing a web presence, though, you’re exposing yourself to additional risk. Hackers crack a network every 32 seconds – or more than 2,000 per day.

According to Verizon, 58% of hacking victims in 2018 were small businesses. CNBC casts the fallout in an even harsher light – 60% of affected firms fail within six months.

Hope is not a cybersecurity strategy – especially when your network exists on the cloud. Want to keep your company secure online? Below, we’ll address cloud security issues that expose firms to expensive hacks. 

Insecure Passwords

Breaking into a network is less complicated than you think. In reality, it’s embarrassingly easy for even novice hackers to barge their way into your system. Firewalls may be hard to defeat, but passwords are the weak link in the chain.

83% of Americans use a password that’s easy to defeat. Even worse, half of all Americans reuse passwords for more than one account.

Why is this a concern? There are two main reasons. One, hackers use brute force scripts. These programs use a “dictionary” of common passwords in rapid succession. If your employee has one, a hacker can breach your system in seconds. And two, hackers often buy compromised credentials off the dark web. If an employee has an affected username/password combo, that’s another way a cybercriminal can get in.

To fix this issue, set up a system that auto-generates a strong password. Used in combination with a password manager, your employees won’t have to remember anything. This is key, as the fear of forgetting a complex password is why most are dangerously weak.


Add another layer of security by implementing a multi-factor authentication system. In addition to entering a password, users also have to input a one-time code to log in.

Not confident in your ability to set up these measures?  Hire cloud computing experts from outside to implement these changes. Not only will they install your MFA protocol, but they’ll also coach your in-house system on how to maintain it.

User Privileges

Nobody needs access to all parts of your system. Not only are certain parts of your intranet irrelevant to specific employees, but it also poses a security risk. Think about it – do you want the mailroom clerk to have access to executive files? Of course you don’t.

To prevent unauthorized access to sensitive data, establish boundaries via user privileges. This process will vary depending on your cloud network. In general, though, start by defining groups. Sorting by department works well – for instance, only marketing employees need access to marketing files.

Then, you define permissions. For example, sales may only have read-only access to marketing files. Meanwhile, nobody outside VPs and the CEO would have access to executive files.

Lastly, in the event someone gets terminated, your IT manager should immediately revoke all permissions. By doing so, you’ll eliminate the possibility of a disgruntled employee doing significant damage to your data.

Overall Cybersecurity Awareness

Your average employee has limited knowledge of cybersecurity issues. In 2019, Webroot revealed that 49% of office workers have fallen for a phishing e-mail once during their career.

If employees don’t know what to look for, it’s only a matter of time before a hacker fools them. Education is essential to prevent your firm from becoming the next victim. Teach your workers to recognize fraudulent e-mails and phone calls by bringing in a trainer.

Many IT firms offer cybersecurity “lunch & learn” talks and seminars. In them, your rank & file will learn how to employ informed skepticism to avoid providing sensitive information. Arming your employees with this info is crucial. According to Verizon, 98% of breaches in 2018 were made possible by successful phishing attempts.

Backups

Try as you might, you may eventually fall victim to an attack. Ransomware attacks are especially devastating, as the average event can cost SMEs over $84,000.


If they trap you, you have two options. You either pay the ransom (which also compromises your financial data), or you start from scratch. Option two is doable if you backup your servers regularly.

However, don’t have your IT staff do it manually. Instead, have them set up an auto-backup cycle that mirrors files once every 24 hours. That way, if a cybercriminal hijacks your cloud server, you can hit delete and restore everything.

Keep Your Systems Secure

By taking key measures, you can ensure the security of your cloud server. Don’t rest on your laurels, though – hackers are always looking for a way in. Remain on top of the latest cybersecurity developments, and you’ll stay a step ahead of the bad guys.