Cloud computing has transformed the way we do business. Benefits like 24/7 availability, reduced spending, and remote capabilities have business owners rushing to make the move. But, one common misconception is being in the cloud automatically means that you are secure, which is simply not true. Below are 3 guidelines to help you stay protected while utilizing the cloud.
1. Don’t Be Silly with Passwords
Passwords like your birthday, “12345”, or “Password1” are not safe. CNET recently published a list of the most used passwords – and reports that we are not getting any smarter about our passwords. If you have a password that is on this list, change it immediately.
These are the top 5 most common passwords revealed in data breaches) based off TechRepublic’s research: 123456 (23.2 million), 123456789 (7.7 million), qwerty (3.8 million), password (3.6 million) and 111111 (3.1 million. The hackers and bad guys are going to try this first. And, I mean, think about it – this list of passwords is out there for everyone to see! Kind of scary that this type of data is published. If this information is available on the internet, imagine how much sensitive material is up for sale on the dark web!
Stick to the following best practices in password creation to prevent cyber criminals from getting a hold of your information:
- Recycle your cans and bottles for sure, but not passwords. Do not use the same one if you can help it. When asked to change your password, don’t use the same password, and just add a “1” or another letter or symbol at the end.
- Be strong. Not with your bench press, but with your password creation. Use a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters.
- Don’t be mad about it. Do you want your information safe and secure, or do you want it in the hands of unauthorized people? The use of a business class password management service like RMON Networks’ Password Management Solution is recommended to help easily and securely manage your login credentials.
- Lastly, apply the K.I.S.S. Method. This is something I learned back when my grandpa was still around. It stands for “Keep It Simple Stupid.” Just don’t be too simple with passwords. For example, the password “ourhouse” is awful. But the password “0uRH0u$3” might be acceptable.
2. Watch Out for Free and Unsecure Wi-Fi
It is so convenient to link up nowadays. Just pull up to the nearest Starbucks, order a Green Matcha Tea Latte (steamed, with coconut milk – you won’t be disappointed), break out the laptop, hook up to the Wi-Fi and get some work done. But first, run a background check on the others who are on the Wi-Fi. You may want to collect three references and their credit scores as well. In all seriousness, how much do you know about the people you are sharing that PUBLIC network with? Jumping on to their Wi-Fi to Google for “what the heck is Matcha green tea” from your phone is probably not a big deal. But hooking up to the Wi-Fi on your work laptop and accessing company records? Think twice and read these tips to keep yourself protected.
3. Keep in Touch with IT
Consult your IT provider to talk about when and where to securely access company files while working outside the office. Ask how your data is being backed up, and if and how it will be encrypted. If none of these solutions are in place, then you and your IT person should have a talk about implementing them into your business model. Working from anywhere on the planet is pretty awesome, just be sure that you do it the right way.
Trust and do not be afraid of cloud technology. By implementing cloud solutions, businesses like yours have moved CAPEX costs (computer hardware) to OPEX costs (just paying a subscription for cloud services, and not for hardware). Over time, the decrease in CAPEX coupled with the ability to work from anywhere will hopefully pay for itself – and help grow your business. Work with your IT Provider to build security into the fabric your technology. We want you to stay productive and work from anywhere but ensure you have built in best security practices as well.