We talk to many businesses, including those working in the vaping sector, and know how important the issue of IT security has become in recent years. With the increasing move to working online and reliance on IT to share data, system security has become key to business success.
You can store your data on inhouse servers and hardware or you can use cloud storage solutions. Research by the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) suggests that as many as 88% of businesses are making use of cloud services.
What is cloud storage?
A cloud storage system is basically a remote server on which you can store files for your business. These can then be accessed from the cloud, which is effectively the internet.
Your data is held on servers owned by your data storage provider, which could be Dropbox, Microsoft, Google or any other company offering cloud storage.
Using a cloud storage system means you don’t have to rely on local storage hardware and infrastructure.
What are the benefits of cloud storage?
Some of the benefits include:
- Ease of access to your data
- Added security can be provided through encryption
- You can restore and back up data which can help business continuity
- You can collaborate easily across a group of people
- You avoid costs associated with repairing and maintaining in house hardware
- It provides extra storage space compared to your computer hard drive etc
What are the disadvantages of cloud storage?
It’s also important to weigh up the disadvantages before taking the final decision. Some disadvantages include:
- There is a risk of data breach as your data is stored on external servers
- Internet access is required to access your files. If this goes down so will your file access
- Bandwidth limitations can mean you face higher charges if you exceed the limits put in place by some suppliers
What cloud storage systems are available?
There are many cloud storage systems to choose from including:
Launched in 2007 Dropbox offers 3 levels – standard, advanced and enterprise. Which you choose will depend on the size of your vaping business.
Dropbox makes use of security procedures such as two-step authentication and uses its own data centres. It also holds ISO 27001 certification amongst others.
OneDrive is backed by Microsoft. It also integrates directly with Windows. If you use it with Microsoft SharePoint you can share and collaborate as well.
One drive complies with ISO27001 and uses SSL encryption. Read this blog on SharePoint and OneDrive security from Microsoft.
Google’s cloud storage solution is integrated with Android devices and is compliant with ISO 27001, SOC2 and SOC3. It also provides multi factor authentication. They also use the 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). Find out more about security features here.
There are many useful guides and reviews to cloud storage systems available across the internet, so it is definitely worth doing your research to identify which solution best fits your business needs and infrastructure.
Is cloud storage secure?
Whichever storage solution you choose for your vaping business, security of your data will be a top priority in the selection of a provider.
You should consider:
Encryption – Check what encryption process your provider of choice uses. Some suggest private encryption (also known as Zero knowledge) is the strongest form of encryption. This effectively means that you are the only one who has the key to your data. Your provider won’t store a copy of your password if they use zero knowledge encryption.
Data Centre management – You will want to know exactly who manages the data centre that your data is stored on. Some cloud solutions provide their own data centres meaning they are responsible for the secure storage of your data. Some providers outsource this aspect and use a third-party supplier. If this is the case, you will need to check who the third party is and what their cybersecurity processes and commitments are.
Data Centre Storage – In a bid to increase security some providers will store data across multiple servers. This means all of your important information is not stored in the same place.
Authentication – what level of authentication does your provider offer? Two factor authentication where you are identified using 2 methods (often phone or email) is becoming commonplace but it is possible to put more layers of authentication in place.
Compliance – Check if your provider complies with ISO 27001 as this can give a good indication of their information security level. It is also important that your cloud storage solution enables you to meet the demands of GDPR. And don’t forget to factor in the impacts that Brexit may have on compliance.
Of course, it’s important that you choose the right cloud storage solution for your vaping business. Not only to make sure it works as hard as possible for your business, but most importantly to ensure that you maintain the security and integrity of your data. While taking these factors into consideration, it’s important to carry out sufficient research of your own.
At Anthony Jones, cyber security is something that we think vaping businesses of all sizes should take seriously. It must be a business issue, not confined to your IT department. We work hard with our customers to help them understand their risk exposure and put sufficient cyber insurance in place to protect them if the worst should happen. Get in touch with us today for more information of cyber insurance.