Business Insurance > Smart Technology – Is Your Business Protected?

Smart Technology – Is Your Business Protected?

By Dean Laming on April 27th, 2022

Developments in technology have completely revolutionised life in the 21st century, and smart technology represents a definitive breakthrough in the way we interact with technology and how it impacts our lives. This particular development has been enabled by cloud computing, where individuals and organisations can manage their data over the Internet.

In the simplest terms, cloud computing enables us to access digital resources from various interconnected devices. For a lot of businesses working form home is becoming the norm, and it’s likely that your staff is already using cloud-based systems to maintain workflows and connectivity.

It is therefore important to discuss working from home options with your team, and make it clear what security procedures will need to be followed.

Evidently, smart technology has transformed the way in which businesses operate, enabling them to operate more seamlessly than ever and provide their customers with a truly bespoke experience.

One serious concern when it comes to smart technology, however, is the extent and effectiveness of a business’ cloud security. If your cloud computing systems are not sufficiently protected, the implications for your business could be devastating.

In this article we will be exploring what cloud security does and why every business should implement it, as well as the importance of supplementing your cloud security strategy with a comprehensive insurance cover.

  1. What Is Cloud Security?
  2. How Does Cloud Security Work?
  3. Why Do You Need Cloud Security?
  4. Even With Sophisticated Security, You Still Need Insurance…

What Is Cloud Security?

Cloud computing is at the forefront of innovation and exploration, and it has become the infrastructure upon which groundbreaking smart technologies are constructed and launched. Cloud security, therefore, refers to the various measures and practices that are focused on protecting cloud computing systems.

It is important to keep in mind that cloud computing systems essentially provide hosting services over the Internet. These cloud services ensure that client information is safely stored away whilst also always being available for whenever they want to access it.

When the client transfers their data to the provider, it is stored on these servers so that the client doesn’t have to invest in the infrastructure that is required to store their data within an internal network.

This is fundamental to understanding cloud security, because the cloud service is a third-party host. Importantly, this means that the client and the provider are responsible for the security of the data.

A cloud computing system can attempt to protect its services from any threats, but it cannot control how clients will use the service, what data they will upload and who they give access to. With any public cloud service, it will be your responsibility to secure your data and determine who has access to that data.

How Does Cloud Security Work?

Regardless of the responsibilities of each party, cloud security is designed to protect everything that is involved with the cloud computing system’s infrastructure. For example, the physical networks such as routers and cabling, data storage, data servers, operating systems, the data itself, applications as well as hardware such as computers and mobile phones.

Depending on the cloud service type, the ownership of these components will either be with the cloud provider or the client. There are three cloud service types:

  • Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) – The cloud provider is responsible for everything apart from securing the data whenever it isn’t with the provider as well as who has access to that data.
  • Platform-as-a-Service – With this service, the client is responsible for securing the data and determining access, but they also manage their applications, devices and networks.
  • Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) – The cloud provider is responsible only for the core cloud service itself. The client, on the other hand, manages everything including the operating system.

Whatever the cloud service type, you should ensure that the cloud security measures you implement is set-up for data recovery if it is lost. It’s also important protect storage and network facilities against attacks and theft. You should also prioritise deterring any human errors or oversight that could make your data vulnerable to being compromised in the first place.

Cloud security requires demands a multi-faceted approach, and many of the risks associated with cloud computing systems can be mitigated simply by understanding cloud computing and cloud security.

One example of an effective cloud security strategy is encryption, which is an incredibly powerful barrier against unauthorised access. Encryption scrambles your data whenever it is in transit, so that it is only readable to someone who has the specified encryption key such as a password or a pin.

Another aspect of cloud security that is often neglected is effectively managing who can have access to your data. It is critical that you assess the privileges that you have given to user accounts by looking through your access controls.

You can then restrict or block users who should not have access to your data, and you can also authenticate and authorise user accounts in order to ensure that they are legitimate. Password management and two-factor authentication are a couple of ways you could ensure that you have firm control over who has access to your data and who doesn’t.

In cloud security, there are legal considerations that have to be accounted for as well. As a business, it is likely that you are managing and storing sensitive information about your customers. The government has introduced legislation, which emphasises the importance of protecting private data from being misused for profit.

One solution to this security concern is data masking, which is a more specialised form of encryption that will obscure anything that pinpoints an individual’s identity within a body of data. This way, you can protect your customer’s personal data in the event of a breach.

Why Do You Need Cloud Security?

There is no doubt that cloud computing systems have transformed our relationship with smart technology, facilitating connectedness and accessibility on a level that is unprecedented. These systems do provide a unique challenge when it comes to securing them, however.

This is because they are designed to be easily accessible and interconnected, whilst ensuring that they are secured means preventing any access attempts and connections being made by unauthorised users or those with malicious intentions.

Since the data is always available over the Internet, it could potentially be accessed at any time if there was a data breach, and it could be held anywhere considering that it doesn’t have to be contained within a local system.

What’s more, there is a significant responsibility upon you as a client in order to make sure that you are complying with industry, legal and ethical standards in the management of your data.

As a business it is essential that you implement rigorous cloud security measures such as encryption, access controls and data masking so that you can protect the interests of your customers, yourself and your business.

Even With Sophisticated Security, You Still Need Insurance…

With an effective cloud security strategy, you can be assured that you are doing everything you can to protect your business’ data. Even with the most sophisticated measures and a painstaking attention to detail, however, your security is vulnerable.  Data breaches, data theft, ransomware attacks and cyberattacks are just some of the threats your business’ and customers’ information will face.

Not only would such an incident impact the running and revenue of your business, but it could also effect your reputation and expose you to legal claims from the individuals whose data has been exposed. Without a digital insurance policy, the financial implications of a security incident could be devastating.

It is for this reason that you should always be prepared. In the event that your cloud security systems are breached, your insurance policy will cover everything from recovery and specialist advice to legal fees. It’s always a good idea to compare multiple quotes to ensure you have the right coverage for your company.

Dean Laming

Dean is a Chartered Insurance Broker with more than 25 years insurance experience. Through various underwriting, operational and management roles, Dean has built up extensive knowledge of how to run a business and is now Managing Director of Brisco Business, part of the wider Henry Seymour Group.

All articles by Dean Laming

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