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Time for Small Businesses to Be On Cloud Nine

Updated on January 11, 2015

Considering the limitations of small business in terms of finances, it is imperative for them to adopt cost effective technologies that enable them to thrive. Especially technologies that allow them to streamline their operations which translates into an increase in revenue. In this respect, it is not hard to understand why small business owners—with their pressing need to have instant access to their documents whenever they are on the move—latch on to cloud computing.

Facilitating Data Storage

Cloud computing is growing and it is not growing because of incredible marketing techniques or sheer luck. Right from tech giants such as Google, Microsoft, Apple, and IBM to numerous small time players are offering cloud storage services at competitive prices. The technology has seeped into smartphone’s so that stored information is always accessible. Many cloud storage service providers in fact provide limited services free of cost – Google Drive for instance. However, in order to sap the full potential of the service, it is advisable to select a paid service.

The Future is Upon Us

Small business have ample reasons to be on cloud nine (excuse the pun!) if only they can manage not to be swamped by the downsides of this new technology, the most notable being that of data hacking. When companies such as Sony, LinkedIn, and even banks are vulnerable to cyber-attacks, small business needs to be extra cautious in this regard. The following are some effective cloud computing security tips for small businesses that won’t impact their wallet too much. They are as follows:

  • Back up your data. This is one tip whose importance can never be stressed enough. There are sundry cheap external hard drives on the store shelves that you can use to store multiple copies of your valuable data. An outstanding idea is to also keep a backup in another location, perhaps at a friend’s house.
  • Use a two-stage authentication process. Gmail is a popular mailing tool used by many small businesses. These business owners can install the Google Authenticator application that will generate a pin to access your Google account, even offline. Wired writer Mat Honan learned this lesson the hard way; you must not follow suit!
  • Adhere to compliance requirements. Even before you enlist the services of a cloud computing provider, you have to ensure that you comply with industry-specific or government regulations regarding how electronic data should be handled. Mostly, adhering to these rules acts as the first line of defense against hackers. In many instances, complying with these regulations is the pre-requisite for gaining permission to use cloud services.
  • Evaluate the security controls in place of the cloud service provider before signing a contract. Ask questions and request them to show their security certificates. Some widely recognized certifications include the Trusted Cloud Initiative by the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) and general ones such as ISO27001 Information Security Standards and the ISACA IT Audit.

Valuable Information Kept Safe

So in essence, do not forget to take extra security measures to keep your information stored on cloud storage safe. After all, you certainly do not want to experience the unseemly and frightful situation that Mat Honan is now infamous for. And if its business information you are storing, the implications might be far greater.

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