Data security issues in 2017. What does your firm need to know?

The more data is moved to the cloud, the more people worry about cybercrime. And it’s no wonder as the recent global cyber-attack crippled parts of the NHS; resulting in lots of negative press and publicity. In fact, it seems that cybercrime is never out of the news, with Microsoft now warning of “state-sponsored cyber-attacks” as it releases updates for all Windows operating systems, including Windows XP.

Of course, despite what most people think, moving to the cloud and storing data and applications remotely shouldn’t put your business-critical information at any more risk. In fact, with robust cloud encryption now available, cloud storage is safer than many onsite solutions. But key to keeping your data safe is a partner that understands the current and emerging data security risks, and ensures the necessary steps to protect against them.

According to the Information Security Forum (ISF) – the world’s leading authority on cyber security and information risk management – the top four global security threats faced in 2017 are:

  • The Internet of Things (IoT) adds unmanaged risks
  • Crime syndicates take a quantum leap
  • Government and regulators won’t do it for you
  • The role of the end user – the weakest or strongest link in the security chain.

Let’s look at these in a bit more depth…

  1. The Internet of Things (IoT) adds unmanaged risks

The cloud is becoming crucial to how we do business, and experts predict that the majority of professional services firms will soon move most – if not all – of their data to cloud servers.

The IoT takes cloud computing to the next level; using technologies, processes, physical objects, and services to create an interconnected system that monitors and shares information like never before. Benefits include increased productivity, costs savings, and better customer service. But the IoT relies on data to work; and the more information online and interconnected technology has access to, the greater the risk.

  1. Crime syndicates take a quantum leap

In 2017, online criminal organisations are becoming increasingly sophisticated. And it’s not just lone hackers we have to worry about as many cybercrime syndicates are evolving from existing criminal structures. Even governments are getting in on the act.

The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security issued a warning this week, saying the cyberattacks were carried out by actors within the North Korean government who are known as “Hidden Cobra.”

What’s more, in a bid to become as rich as possible, these criminals are sharing information and collaborating with one another. In fact, cybercrime for hire is on the rise, and costs are coming down.

  1. Government and regulators won’t do it for you

In response to the threat of data breaches, public opinion has pressured governments into introducing tighter data protection legislation. And, while these regulations are undoubtedly necessary, they will result in added costs and compliance headaches for professional services firms. For example, the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) could lead to a maximum penalty of €20 million or 4% of worldwide turnover for failures to comply.

  1. The role of the end user – the weakest or strongest link in the security chain

In many cases, the greatest security risk still comes from your own employees. So, “stop and think” behaviour must become part your firm’s data security culture; with a focus on day-to-day habits that can reduce the threat. Really simple steps like training staff to use robust passwords and be on the lookout for any suspicious emails could make a massive difference.

What can you do to protect your firm?

Make sure your cloud software/storage provider understands the risks and can advise you on how to deploy IoT solutions without unnecessary exposure. Also, be sure to specify security as part of your SLAs with any data management partners.

You should also conduct threat assessments that look at the devices being used across your firm, the info these devices have access to, how information is being accessed, and any risks you are exposed to. Once you understand this, you can then look at the security measures you need to implement. For example, a Hosted Desktop can help to reduce the risk with all information controlled centrally.

So, how secure is the cloud?

Despite the headlines, in almost all cases, where a hack has happened it has been down to a poorly designed and maintained security system – not the weakness of the cloud. In fact, 56% of IT managers cite improved security as a primary motivation for moving to the cloud.

At Cloud Geeni, we make security a top priority. That’s why, our Cloud Server services consistently achieve the highest level of data security and reliability, with best-in-class back-up and recovery processes that eliminate downtime.

Find out more about keeping your data safe in the cloud.

To find out more, speak to a member of our team on 01942 263 434 or email info@cloudgeeni.co.uk  today.