Keeping your data safe and readily accessible is probably one of your main concerns as a small or medium-sized business owner. With cyber crooks on the prowl all over the Internet, potential threats are probably constantly at the back of your mind. In this blog we will take a closer look at these threats, at cloud security, how cloud security is likely to change in the future, and how it can benefit you.
Imagine. Imagine a world without cyberspace – a world where you are lost in a dessert of technological isolation. Of course it is unimaginable. With more and more people gaining access to technology, the rapid growth of the Internet has lead to enormous amounts of data being produced at an ever increasing rate. Adding to this the growing popularity of social media, and the stage is set for a truly connected world.
A connected world means more opportunities; opportunities for Internet commerce to bombard individuals with their daily offerings. It creates the possibility for advertisers to reach specific target markets. But unfortunately for honest business, this rapid growth of cyberspace is opening the door for cyber criminals ever wider. Cyber crime is escalating at an alarming rate, and shows no signs of declining soon.
Of course cyber crime can be highly destructive, and comes in many forms. It may not only be identity theft, hijacking accounts, and denial of service attacks, they may also take the form of data breaches that might lead to total data loss. These potential threats are very real for individuals, but even more so for small and medium-sized businesses, and even large corporations, making proper data governance and data management essential.
While government agencies and big institutions have long been implementing measures and regulations to protect their date, the same vigilance has sadly been lacking in SMBs. A sweeping security culture change is now needed more than ever before. To prevent data breaches and other potential threats, rigid security controls are needed in every business, and proper training in their use should be provided to every employee.
INTERNET OF THINGS
With the Internet of Things (IoT) being the hottest commodity in the age of digital transformation, it is no wonder that manufacturers are in a mad scramble to be first-to-market with an array of IoT devices. With consumer gadgets like smart TVs, surveillance cameras, baby monitors, and home and office thermostats, to name but a few, the consumer hunger for IoT devices appears to be unstoppable. The development of autonomous cars and delivery drones are certainly becoming more than just a pipedream.
More and more devices are being connected every day, and to satisfy this crazy demand, manufacturers are spending vast amounts of time and money to develop leading-edge innovative devices in their quest to stay ahead of the pack. But unfortunately, security on many of these devices are sadly lacking. Many of them are shipped with default passwords, for instance, which users seldom bother to change.
It is said that there are more IoT devices in use today than there are people in the world. Roughly 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are generated through IoT devices every day, and as more devices come online, this figure is rising rapidly. Naturally cyber criminals have taken notice, and are forever working on their own innovations.
For SMB owners, ever newly connected IoT device poses a potential threat. Because of the low levels of security on many of these devices, cyber criminals and unscrupulous hackers will grasp every opportunity to cause devastation. Hijacking accounts and denial of service attacks are more commonplace than one would think. Moreover, data breaches can cause total data loss, making effective data management and data governance so important.
In the modern world of information technology, businesses are faced by masses of data on a daily basis. This results in a lot of businesses having a lot of data in a lot of different places, making it hard to use and protect. They lack the data management best practices to get to that data and use it to their advantage. But more than that, it makes their data easy targets for data breaches and potential threats.
So what are data management best practices? The concept of data management dates back to the 1980’s when random access disk technology was first introduced. However, with the rapid growth in information technology and the emergence of cloud storage, we have come a long way since then. With so much data floating around, data management best practices and proper data governance strive to facilitate data management, improve performance and keep data safe from data loss, data breaches, and other potential threats like hijacking accounts and denial of service attacks.
Enter cloud computing, and cloud data management provides a new dimension to data management best practices. It has eliminated the need for data storage at various physical locations to facilitate disaster recovery. In fact, cloud data management provides the means to manage data across various cloud platforms, either with or without on site data storage. Because data stored in the cloud has its own set of rules for data storage, it offers advanced solutions to data backups, storage, and security, and is fast becoming an integral part of most data management practices.
In the ever changing cyber world, the Internet continues to create business and social opportunities on a massive scale that is globally interconnected. This generates vast amounts of personal and corporate data that is a lucrative target for cyber criminals. It creates potential threats that may come in many forms, including:
- Phishing scams
- Fake video and audio messages
- Destructive malware and Trojans
- Hijacking accounts
- Data loss or compromise
- Denial of service attacks
- Identity theft
- Exploiting system vulnerabilities
- And so much more.
Companies that host businesses’ data on their servers are especially tempting for hackers. Big cloud companies like Google and Amazon, however, invest heavily in cyber security, and they are less likely to fall prey to cyber attacks. Unfortunately, these companies cannot win the war against cyber crime on their own.
With individuals and SMBs carrying the brunt of these attacks, they often bear the loss caused by malicious activity. Cyber security will always be a shared responsibility, and we should continually consider how we can place ourselves in a better position to deter, detect, and respond to cyber threats as they emerge.