Using the Cloud to secure your business
Things you can do right now to increase security and resilience
It’s dangerous out there.
For small and medium-sized businesses, things are getting ugly:
- The ransomware boom is is hitting smaller and smaller companies.
- The black market for customer data has created a big demand for yours.
- The increasingly mobile workforce means lost and stolen laptops and smartphones have become a major source of data loss.
At the same time, privacy and data protection regulations are getting tougher, pushing up security costs (and, potentially, fines).
Against this backdrop, you’d think smaller businesses would be upping their security game.
They’re falling behind – with poorly secured servers, unprotected endpoint devices, and vulnerable storage and back-up processes.
You’re not too small to get hacked.
The thing that too few growing businesses appreciate is that a hacker doesn’t need to take a special interest in your business to get through.
Most hackers take a spray-and-pray approach, targeting as many businesses as they can, making small amounts of money per breach.
And while most people aren’t likely to open up a dubious email or click on a shady link, all it takes is one person in your company to do so for you to be compromised.
So in practice, the best way to think about security is to act like you will be hacked.
Between paying fines for breaches, finding bitcoin for ransomware, trying to get your files back and making do while you don’t have them, the costs rack up quickly. So when it comes to security, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
On the plus side, more and more growing businesses are moving their IT and files to the cloud. And it’s a much safer place to be.
The cloud has shattered the traditional trade-off between security, usability and affordability.
Today, your most secure and most user-friendly IT option is also often the lowest cost option. That’s a major shift in IT and a big opportunity for companies like yours.
Three easy ways to improve your security
Cloud-based storage and computing lets you get out of the IT business and focus on doing what you do best.
It’s also, as we’re about to see, far more secure than your own servers and storage. Here are three ways to take advantage of this extra security:
Move your files to the cloud
Cloud file sharing and storage saves you from an email nightmare – no more lost attachments, file size limits and unsecure collaboration.
More importantly, it puts the security of your files in the heavily-protected server room of an IT partner or technology provider – so you have a far safer back-up of all your files as well. It’s the easiest of all the cloud security steps and it dramatically improves your security overnight.
Move your applications to the cloud
You may already use cloud apps like Salesforce, Gmail or Office365, but you can also put your most important on-site apps (the ones on your servers or locally installed on each computer) in the cloud.
Application virtualization turns a noncloud app into a cloud app – quickly and easily – so your users access it from a browser. Simpler. Easier to maintain. And way more secure.
Move your desktops to the cloud
Managing every PC one at a time is a huge burden – and results in unpatched, unsecure devices.
Cloud-based desktops mean everything is managed centrally. Your users can work on any computer, any browser, anywhere. And if they leave their laptop in a taxi, no harm done since nothing is locally installed.
All three of these are available to every size of business, today.
Why the cloud is more secure
When cloud-based apps and services were new, the big question for every business was: “How secure is it?”
It’s a great question: before you put your company’s files somewhere, you’d better know it’s a safe place.
Today, the question has been answered convincingly.
Because, as millions of businesses trust the cloud with their most sensitive files – customer records, bank account details, health records – people have realized this plain fact: The cloud isn’t ‘just as safe’ as your own on-site servers and data rooms. It’s much more secure.
The question isn’t, “Can I risk putting my business files and apps in the cloud?”. The question is, “Can I risk NOT putting them in the cloud?”.
Here's why the cloud is more secure:
- Your files are protected by bank-grade security Your files are secure in transit and on cloud servers using full encryption. So even gaining access won’t give the bad guys anything of value.
- Cloud storage is off site and remotely backed up It lives on servers behind heavily guarded, layered defenses at the physical, network, server, application and data layers. If your office suffers from a break-in, a fire or a flood, everything is still safe in the cloud. And you get automatic, remote back-ups, so if anything does go wrong, you’re covered.
- Your cloud provider invests much more in security than you can Cloud companies employ world-class security experts to design and manage the resources to pass all regulatory compliance tests and go far beyond. Cloud data centers are monitored 24x7x365 and are always updated, patched and maintained.
Bottom line: if you’re like most small or medium-sized businesses (and many big companies), cloud security is orders of magnitude better than yours.
Don’t go it alone. We can help you on every step of your journey.
About Plow Networks
Headquartered in Brentwood, Tennessee, Plow Networks is a Total Service Provider (TSP) with several distinct business practices that, when consumed together, offer our clients a unique, best-in-class experience. We give organizations peace of mind, valuable time back and the economies of scale that come with having one technology partner that is focused on exceeding their expectations with every engagement.
*This information is brought to your by our end-user experience partner, Citrix.