The cloud offers countless benefits including enhanced reliability, flexibility, and cost-efficiency just to name a few. But if you fall for the common pitfalls, it could have devastating effects on your security, productivity, and profitability. So avoid the following cloud mistakes at all costs.

Failing to set up access restrictions

The first mistake most businesses make in the cloud is giving everyone unfettered access to data and apps. Even though the cloud makes it easier to access files from any location, front-of-house employees shouldn’t be able to access files reserved for C-suite executives.

“I’m a temp, and I’ve seen your downloads folder. Please don’t talk to me ever again.”

That’s why you must set file restrictions based on job roles, departments, and the device used to access certain files. For example, only the accounting department should be authorized to view and edit invoices and other financial information, while sales reps, customer service staff, and managers should be the only ones allowed to look at customer information.

Assuming military-grade encryption is in place

Most cloud platforms use encryption software to protect your data, but some are weaker than others. Make sure to implement 256-bit encryption for data at-rest and in-transit — a type of encryption that even federal agencies use to secure data.

If your cloud service does not automatically encrypt data, you can use third-party encryption software that also password-protects your files. Your local IT consultant should be able to help you find a reliable one.

Overlooking internet bandwidth

The performance of your cloud services rely on the amount of internet bandwidth being used on your network. If several employees use the internet to access video streaming websites or download large files, your cloud apps could slow down to a crawl and become unresponsive.

“I know this is a bad time, but maybe you should stop streaming The Notebook while you're working.”

Bandwidth management solutions allow you to reserve network resources for high-priority cloud apps while limiting access to bandwidth-hogging websites and programs. But if your systems are still running at a snail’s pace, you may have to ask your internet services provider to increase your bandwidth capacity.

Forgetting to back up your cloud data

It’s not wise to ignore backups entirely just because your data is in the cloud. While cloud providers store your files in geo-redundant data centers, there’s a slight risk that the files can be compromised or lost.

Your most critical files must be backed up on a local server, on an external hard drive, and, if possible, on another cloud service like Dropbox. This ensures you have multiple copies of your files in case one backup method fails.

Neglecting security training

No matter how heavily fortified your cloud solution is, it doesn’t change the fact that careless employees can put your company at risk. Common user mistakes like setting weak passwords, clicking on suspicious links and email attachments, and connecting to unsecured public networks give hackers an easy way to infiltrate your systems.

Regular security training can go a long way in keeping your business safe from cloud attacks. If employees know about password best practices, the dangers of sharing information online, and how to avoid phishing scams, they’ll be stronger than any antivirus software.

Choosing the wrong provider

Your current cloud provider may have looked good on paper, but if they start charging you for extra services and taking longer to fulfil requests, that’s a bad sign. These providers could also be trying to lock you into their services by offering you cloud services that run exclusively with their platforms and are extremely expensive to opt out of.

“Trust me, you need to sign up for this 20-year contract.”

If you notice these signs, you’ll want to review your provider’s service-level contracts to make sure they’re not trying to shortchange or trap you into their services. If they are, then it’s time to look for better alternatives.

Red Key Solutions offers affordable, flat-rate cloud services without binding, long-term contracts. We also provide top-notch encryption, bandwidth management services, and comprehensive support services so you can avoid the most common cloud mistakes. Contact us today to learn more.

Red Key is a leading cybersecurity company serving New York City, Westchester County, Fairfield County Connecticut, California & beyond. Click here to learn more.