The forecast is clear: the cloud is one of the biggest opportunities facing your business. Companies that use productivity-enhancing cloud services grow 19.6 percent faster than those that don’t, according to a report from Skyhigh Networks.

But in doing so, they may be exposing themselves to major security threats.

Data and digital assets stored in the cloud are accessible to hackers and malicious parties. Information found in compromised cloud files or accounts can be used to crack other systems. In short order, one cloud security issue can make it rain on your entire business. That’s why it’s important not to kid yourself when assessing the risks associated with cloud technologies.

In fact, there are three myths you might believe about your business’ cloud security that aren’t true. Dispelling these myths can help firms that use cloud-based systems protect their data and digital assets.

Myth 1: You Don’t Store Sensitive Information in the Cloud

More of your sensitive information is likely in the cloud than you think. Cisco predicts that by 2019, 56 percent of cloud workloads will be in the public cloud, up from 30 percent in 2014. More than 15 percent of documents uploaded to the cloud contain sensitive information, says Skyhigh. Over seven percent of those documents are confidential, and 2.3 percent contain payment data. This data presents a tempting target for hackers and malicious parties that desire sensitive or confidential information.

While using the cloud has many benefits, businesses should ensure they and their provider take appropriate measures to manage identity and access and secure data. Businesses should also have their own data and IT security plans in place.

Myth 2: Your Employees Are Trained on How to Use the Cloud

Even with protocols in place, you might be surprised how much more training your employees need on proper cloud usage. Cloud management company RightScale points out that “lack of resources/expertise” is the number one cloud challenge survey respondents face. More than 28 percent of employees have uploaded sensitive data to the cloud, says the Skyhigh report. Thirty-seven percent of cloud uploads are shared, and more than nine percent shared externally contain sensitive information.

Employees must receive the proper training on how to handle sensitive company information and gain a deep understanding of what should not be uploaded to the cloud. This training should also include information on how to navigate usage of wearable devices and cloud risks to company content like video surveillance footage.

Myth 3: You’re Prepared for Attacks

Employees forgetting to follow security protocols is one thing. Getting attacked by malicious parties is quite another—and an eventuality your business likely needs to prepare for better.

According to Skyhigh, organizations experience an average of 5.1 incidents each month “in which an unauthorized third party exploits stolen account credentials to gain access to corporate data stored in a cloud service.” Furthermore, the average organization experiences 2.4 cloud-enabled “data exfiltration” events per month, in which hackers use malware to extract data from a company’s accounts.

Hackers can use a variety of avenues to attack, including social media accounts or popular mobile games. While each business has different cyber security needs, it’s imperative that firms of all sizes create a protection plan to secure their digital assets. This will help companies adapt to ever-evolving threats, while doing all they can to stay safe right now.

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