Analysis of the findings of a 2019-2020 survey conducted by emerging technology analyst firm, Telsyte.
Though COVID-19 accelerated tech adoption and digital transformation for countless businesses across Australia, it also brought possible threats against the cloud to light. Fortunately, many businesses understand the importance of cybersecurity. In a recent survey conducted by Telsyte, almost 40% of small business leaders cited disruption to business as their biggest concern. Of those who had experienced a data breach in the preceding 12 months, 33% were concerned about further disruptions. These businesses know firsthand that security breaches affect both revenue and reputation.
These threats are greatly compounded by ignorance.
According to a report in The Conversation, Australia is a sitting duck for ransomware—and it's been this way for 30 years. Three in ten SMEs that experienced data breaches in the previous 12 months worry about their lack of cloud cybersecurity strategy. Though they're aware of possible breaches, they aren't exactly certain what a breach looks like.
For many small businesses, security is the main barrier to adopting cloud technology. They assume data is safer offline, in on-premise servers and in paper systems that present physical barriers to access. However, just because your data is locked up in a cupboard doesn't mean it's not vulnerable. The more data you accumulate, the more likely you are to mislabel information or forget to back up the latest version. Every day of manually updating and maintaining an offline database is a massive time sink. What's more, when you want to expand your business geographically, you have to comply with international data protection principles, most of which require you to classify, organise, and meticulously restrict unauthorised access to your data. A lock and key just won't cut it.
Understanding how the cloud works and taking preventative measures to protect your data integrity is critical for benefiting from the technology and building resilience for the future. For many of us, the concept of cloud security can be a bit overwhelming. Start small—like using a password manager, enabling multi-factor-authentication, and setting permissions for data access. Ask questions of your vendors, train your employees on best cloud practices, and make sure that you know, understand, and are comfortable with what's happening to your data. Here are some ways to strengthen your data access and security management processes.
One in four SMEs responding to Telsyte's survey said they're already investing in cybersecurity systems to mange disruptions. We've got a long way to go, but that's definitely a step in the right direction.