03 Mar Data Security and Cloud Communications in the modern age
Data Security seems to be a very popular buzzword today. Why is that?
There’s no denying that we’ve gotten to such a point in human evolution that’s equal parts scary and exciting. First off, we have the internet — that alone gives our species the ability to go beyond our physical limitations and to grow our personal and commercial brands. Secondly, we have cloud communications; this one allows us to communicate with people from anywhere, anytime, without the physical limitations of phone lines.
The internet and cloud phone combo is one that’s limitless in its scope and its propensity for growth. However, they also open up a world of issues that need to be addressed.
Data Security threats and limitations
The Covid 19 Pandemic might have forced the world to slow down, but it has also accelerated a few key things: namely the adoption of remote working, but also the number of data breaches worldwide.
Flashpoint, a security firm based in the US, ran a Risk Based Security check in 2020 that found approximately 37 billion online records were compromised. This is a big jump from 2019’s number which ran about 15 billion. They credit this rise to the sudden move to remote working, and the lack of security measures undertaken by companies.
The farther removed we are from the earlier stages of the pandemic, the better remote workers have become to handling vital company data. Companies have also taken the necessary steps to improve their security measures, but is it too late?
Common data security attacks
Malware — this is when a software is installed in a computer to interfere with how it normally functions. It can cause major slowdowns, destroy program functions, and allows for cyber criminals to access your company’s sensitive data.
Email phishing — cyber criminals phish customers by sending them emails pretending to be from credible businesses. When clicking on unsafe links included in these emails, you’re giving hackers access to sensitive information like a user’s credit card numbers, passwords, etc.
Distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) — this one is a nightmare of network administrators and IT managers. This security attack is designed to direct traffic towards a network with the intention of crashing it. In an online-centric marketplace, your presence is the most important thing. When your website crashes, it doesn’t bode well for your brand and can cause you to lose valuable business.
Ransomware — one of the oldest and most annoying of all cyber attacks, this is when a user’s access to the system is held at a metaphorical gunpoint. Users will not have access to their website unless a payment is coordinated with cyber attackers. They do this by exploiting vulnerabilities in a system and encrypting it so as to deny access to its operations.
Cloud Communications and its exploited weaknesses
Since cloud phone systems are essentially computer software meant to be downloaded from the internet and installed on computers, therein lies a vulnerability.
With cloud communications, you’re trusting software to contain your analog message into data packets that are then broadcasted into the internet. Not all apps are built the same, however. Cybersavvy data thieves will first look at your TLS.
Transport Layer Security (TLS) is basically an internet initiative that is in place to ensure that your digital communication is secure. It runs on the principles of encryption, authentification, and integrity.
How to keep your business safe
There are various steps your business can take to ensure that you are operating at a safe, efficient, and effective level. Below are some of the examples a modern tech company can have in place:
- Conduct Regular Security Checks — just like most things, cyber attacks are also improving. With that we mean they are becoming more and more convincing and harder to detect. Running routine cyber security training is a great step towards ensuring that everyone in your organization knows what to anticipate and what steps to take in the event of a data breach.
- Encourage use of a password manager — if your organization can handle it, there’s a whole slew of password managers available today that your team can use. These apps are a great repellant against hackers and ensures that everyone’s passwords are always safe and updated. With most data breaches occurring as a result of human error, removing this one vulnerability can greatly improve your data security initiatives.
- Encourage use of VPN — with the rise of remote work, so has the frequency of cyber attacks. It’s because workers are actually working using unsafe internet connections, especially those found in coffee shops and similar coworking environments. A VPN is a great way towards ensuring that your internet activity is hidden from unwanted eyes and keeps your sensitive data safe.
There’s no denying the fact that we live in the greatest generation so far. Our capabilities are only limited by our very own imagination, and the internet is a the greatest avenue for that.