3 Tips to Improve Cloud Security and Data Integrity

Blog / 3 Tips to Improve Cloud Security and Data Integrity

The shift from on-premises operations to cloud-based alternatives come with strategic benefits and inherent risks. Chief amongst these risks is data breach. Therefore, maintaining data integrity becomes paramount in our digital environment; cloud security a CISO nightmare or saving grace.

As the manager or owner of a company, you can expect a cyber security incident to cost your business at least £1,410 per event. This amount increases the larger your company is. Plus, we know that time is money, and you can lose a lot of it to cyber incidents. Large businesses can lose 3.4 productive days – at a minimum – from an attack (source: Statica).

In preparing for cyber incidents, it pays to know the three most common cyber threat categories. They are:

  1. Malware & phishing
  2. Distributed Denial of Service Attacks (DDoS)
  3. Data Breaches

We will be focusing on data breach since it is one of the three areas most likely to impact data integrity. A data breach is an unintentional or intentional passing of confidential or secure data to an unsecure party or environment. When this happens, you can lose company information and client data, which affects your reputation and bottom-line. So, knowing what you can do to start the process of improving data integrity and cloud security in an increasingly digital environment is essential.

As the National Crime Agency notes:

“Data breaches continue to be a key enabler of fraud. Personal and financial information obtained in a breach can be used to commit frauds affecting individuals, the private and public sectors alike. By harvesting personal and financial information through data breaches, criminals are able to commit fraud and damage people, businesses and services.” National Crime Agency

So, you know the potential costs of cyber threats to your business – including insider threats. Plus, some sectors are more susceptible to and hence targeted for data breaches. These include finance, information technology, healthcare, business services, and retail. Therefore, your cyber security plans must make adequate provisions to prevent data breaches.

Improving Cloud Security and Maintaining Data Integrity

With cybersecurity incidents hitting an unprecedented high last year (2019), it means organisations must be even more proactive and agile in developing their security systems. Here are three steps you can take now to improve cloud security and maintain data integrity.

Tip 1: Start with a Security Audit

Didn’t think sensitive data would be stored in an easily accessible Dropbox folder? Or that data would be shared across unsecure servers? Think again. Best practices and actual practices are never often the same, especially where you don’t have a culture of cybersecurity to fall back on. Too many things are taken for granted as “known” in an organisation. So, the best place to start in improving cloud security and maintaining data integrity is auditing your security. Assess your data points, vulnerabilities, threats, and where you can make improvements.

Importantly - where data and communication are conducted via third-party apps, ensure they meet the security requirements necessary for the level of data that passes through them.

Tip 2: Use secure systems for communication

Remote working is fast becoming a popular mode of operation for companies across the UK. With remote working comes the need for access to company information in external environments as well as communication with co-workers and clients. This also comes with issues of security and preventing potential data breaches.

If you have to communicate with staff and clients, always do so in a secure platform. A secure business messaging platform (like Semafore ensures communication stays between the parties intended.

Tip 3: Maintain data integrity with secure software

There are many tools designed to enhance security practices. Take for example our Curious Lee software. It is designed as a secure, protected environment to organise and manage complex information. So, if your job requires you to map out data points of highly sensitive, confidential, or proprietary data, the best thing to do is invest in a cloud tool with inbuilt security.

Final Thoughts

When your data is housed in a potentially non-secure environment, you set up yourself to be a statistic – one of the many UK companies with a data breach. So, use these three tips to start the process of improving cloud security and maintaining data integrity.

The key to ensuring that you have as much success as possible is encouraging employees to develop good cybersecurity habits.

Employees should have clarity and commitment to cybersecurity. When it’s culturally ingrained, it’s less likely that staff will communicate on non-secure platforms, or that critical data is stored on non-secure online spaces.

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