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Is Your Cloud Data Just Waiting To Be Plucked Out Of The Air By Cybercriminals?

Phoenix Technology’s Aaron Siemieniec appeared on a local podcast to talk about storing data in the cloud and how to ensure it’s secured against cyber threats.

The cloud is more popular than ever these days – but unfortunately, with popularity comes risk. The more widely used a technology is, the more that cybercriminals will try to find a way to hack it, and turn it against the users. That’s why it’s so important to partner with the right cybersecurity professionals and make sure your business’ cloud configuration is both effective and secure.

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In light of this growing trend, Phoenix Technology’s Aaron Siemieniec appeared on Cybercast Oregon, a podcast about technology security. The episode focused on the pros and cons of using cloud technology to mitigate cyber threats. As more businesses move their data to cloud storage, they’re gaining greater efficiency and connectivity. However, is the cloud secure enough to host such valuable data?

Hosted by Kedma Ough (director at Mt. Hood Community College’s Small Business Development Centre), the episode dove into the topic of how cybersecurity intersects with the cloud. Aaron appeared on the episode along with Matt Katzer, founder of Kadmind IT.

Aaron spoke to the advantages and disadvantages that the cloud offers businesses. Despite the efficiency and convenience that the cloud can provide, if not handled correctly, there are serious security risks as well.

“Security is a concern,” said Aaron. “When your resources are out there in the cloud, having a common password between your Yahoo account and your Gmail and then going into your VPN or another type of online resources is a concern. If one of those is compromised, then the probability is there that one of the others could be as well.”

This growing trend of unsecured cloud configurations is due to businesses neglecting known vulnerabilities in the cloud, or failing to properly assess their cloud environment to discover unseen security risks.

This is just one of the many common problems in the cybersecurity world that show why it’s so important to work with the right cybersecurity professionals. The fact is, this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Cybercriminals keep doing the same old things because users keep falling for the exact same tactics without ever seeming to learn the cybersecurity measures needed to protect against them. That’s what makes ongoing cybersecurity training, and further support that comes from the Phoenix Technology team of cybersecurity professionals in such a crucial part of business today.

Cybercriminals are smart – they adapt quickly and continually to come up with new ways to take advantage of businesses like yours. A popular cybercrime tactic among hackers today is “phishing” – and it’s businesses like yours that need the cybersecurity support to protect against it. Phishing is a method in which the scammers send fraudulent emails that appear to be from reputable sources in order to get recipients to reveal sensitive information and execute significant financial transfers.

Then there’s baiting, in which the target is given something in exchange for their private information. The bait could be a music or movie download online, or it could even be a physical USB key that’s labeled something enticing, like, “Annual Employee Performance Reviews” and left somewhere public to be found. Once the drive is connected to a target device, the hidden virus stored on it will start doing damage. Similarly, the Quid Pro Quo method works by exchanging free services for private information, as opposed to goods.

Tailgating is less technical, but just as dangerous, which is why comprehensive cybersecurity training is so vital. This occurs when an unauthorized person gets into a restricted area of a business by lying to an employee. Often, the scammer will make something up, like that they left their ID badge at home, and rely on the target’s good nature to overlook security protocols and let them in.

Each employee should be thoroughly educated on the ways to spot and prevent cybercrime tactics, and that education needs to be ongoing. Allowing yourself or your staff to get complacent puts your business at serious risk.

“We still have customers who request that we turn off [additional] security because they get annoyed with having to enter their password each time,” said Aaron. “I can see their position, that it’s an annoyance, but it takes two seconds to enter a four-digit pin or a thumbprint on your device. Just use that security – protecting yourself and your company is so much more important than how annoying it may be.”

In addition to equipping your business with assistance and support from the Phoenix Technology team of cybersecurity professionals, you should also:

  • Never give out private information: A basic rule among cybersecurity experts is knowing not to share sensitive info online. The trusted institutions with which you do business will not ask you for your private information. They already have your account numbers, social security number, and your passwords. They won’t have any good reason to ask for it again, right? If an email from a superior or external contact asks for that info, it is likely a scam, so be sure to confirm the request by phone or in person.
  • Set standard protocols for requests: Have steps put in place for management to follow when asking for information or access from employees. If your employees have a clear idea of how these interactions should look, they’re less likely to be fooled by a hacker posing as their supervisor
  • Always check up on unexpected email attachments. A key aspect of cybersecurity awareness is understanding that, if you get an email from someone you know with an attachment that you weren’t expecting, you should confirm it with the sender. Give them a call or send them an email to ensure that the attachment is from them and is legitimate before you open it.

Waiting for another major cyberattack to start making the rounds is not the time to start looking at providing cybersecurity training for your staff- at that point, it’ll be too late. Making cybersecurity education a routine for your entire team – management included – is the most effective way to ensure your team can spot and stop a phishing attempt.

Allow the Phoenix Technology team to help – we’re the cybersecurity professionals that have been helping businesses like yours for years, and we will do the same for you.

Want to learn more about the steps you can take to protect your business from cybercrime? Contact Phoenix Technology at (360) 433-6930 or send an email to to work with our team of cloud security professionals.