5 Persistent Cloud Security Myths…and Why You Should Ignore Them


5 Persistent Cloud Security Myths…and Why You Should Ignore Them

Since the early days of the cloud, myths have abounded. Cloud security, in particular, is often misunderstood. To clear up the confusion, we will “bust” 5 common myths about cloud security.

Myth 1: 

Cloud Providers Automatically Include Security

One common myth is that cloud providers like Azure or AWS automatically come with full security. Cloud providers often do provide a secure infrastructure, but it is the customers’ responsibility to institute cybersecurity solutions to secure their own data within the cloud. This can include everything from setting up firewalls to establishing access controls, to bringing in an external cybersecurity provider.

Myth 2: 

The Cloud Is Less Secure Than On-Premises

Another persistent myth is that on-premises infrastructure is inherently more secure than cloud-based environments. The truth is that cloud providers invest heavily in cybersecurity of multiple forms. They also have dedicated security teams whose entire function is to protect their infrastructure. It is common for cloud providers to have more resources to invest in security than individual businesses.

Myth 3: 

Data Stored in the Cloud Is Always Secure

Another problematic misperception is that data is automatically secure once it’s in the cloud. Data security is complex. It depends on various factors like how it’s configured, who has access, and what security measures are in place. Businesses need to deploy their own security controls on top of the cloud provider’s infrastructure.

Myth 4: 

Public Cloud Has Weak Security

Some people grow concerned about public cloud infrastructure when they learn that it involves multi-tenancy, or sharing the same physical infrastructure with other users. But multi-tenancy is not inherently risky. Cloud providers can isolate one customer’s data and resources so that they are not accessible to other users. This is generally as secure as on-premises infrastructure, if not more so.

Myth 5: 

Cloud Environments Are Not Compliant

This myth has some basis in fact, as some cloud environments do not meet compliance requirements (e.g., HIPAA, GDPR, etc.). However, it is possible for cloud environments to be secured to meet stringent compliance requirements. It is important to find a cloud provider that understands your compliance requirements and is prepared to document data privacy and security conditions as required by your industry’s standards.

NexusTek provides compliance assessments, cloud hosting services in both single- and multi-tenant environments, and cybersecurity services and solutions to keep your cloud-based workloads secure.

Interested in learning more about cloud-based security? Talk with a cloud security expert today.

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Do Cyber Risks Lurk in Your Business Ecosystem?


Do Cyber Risks Lurk in Your Business Ecosystem?

Digitally connected supply chains and partner ecosystems have brought immense value to modern businesses. However, the same digital connectivity that makes business ecosystems hum more efficiently also introduces a growing form of cyber risk: third-party cyber risk, to be exact.

If you aren’t already scrutinizing the security postures of third parties in your ecosystem (e.g., partners, vendors, suppliers), now is the time to start. Ponemon research found that, among organizations reporting a data breach within a 12-month period, 74% expressed that the breach had occurred because they had granted “too much privileged access” to third parties in their ecosystem1.

What Happens in a Third-Party Data Breach?

Hackers are always thinking about new ways to enter their targets’ IT environments, always seeking out entryways that are poorly secured. In a third-party attack, threat actors penetrate the network of one party in a business ecosystem and then leverage that access to gain entry into the network of another—usually larger—business in that ecosystem.

In this way, threat actors take advantage of the weakest link in the ecosystem’s security, using that advantage to attack a more desirable target. If your business’ lax security makes you the weakest link, you place those in your ecosystem at risk. Similarly, if other parties in your ecosystem have lax security, they place your business at risk—even if your own cybersecurity is excellent.

Managing Cyber Risk in Your Business Ecosystem

To effectively manage cyber risk in our digital world, you need to evaluate not only your own cybersecurity posture but third parties’ as well. Unfortunately, 51% of businesses report that they do not evaluate third-party cyber risk2. If your business needs to step up its third-party cyber risk assessment, the experts recommend hitting the following areas:

Avoid making assumptions about those in your business ecosystem.

  • Don’t assume shared attitudes toward security:  Just because your company takes security seriously, try not to assume that third parties in your ecosystem share your concerns. Many businesses still fail to take cybersecurity as seriously as they should.
  • Don’t make assumptions about baseline security: Rather than assume third parties have solid security, go the extra step and verify that they do.


Communicate your security expectations to third parties.

  • Provide instructions on acceptable use of your data:  As above, avoid assuming that third parties share your respect for data security. Some businesses just aren’t as careful as they should be. Convey your expectations to them in writing.
  • Specify security practices you require:  Similarly, put together a list of required security practices (see below for examples) and provide this list in writing to third parties in your ecosystem.


Conduct risk assessment to verify third party’s security practices. Experts recommend the following:

  • Multifactor authentication (MFA): This requires at least two forms of identity verification for login, which effectively stymies unauthorized logins using compromised credentials.
  • Email/DNS protection: This helps to defend against spammers, phishing, spoofing, and other types of malicious communications.
  • Managed detection & response (MDR): MDR services allow a business to delegate management of specific security practices to a qualified provider.
  • Penetration testing: This is an authorized, simulated attack on a company’s IT systems, which helps it to identify existing vulnerabilities.
  • Least-privilege access: Upholding a key principle of zero-trust security, least-privilege access grants users only the level of network access they require, and no more.
  • Patch management: This practice ensures that any identified vulnerabilities in software are addressed in a timely manner.
  • Security awareness training: This gives employees the information they need to identify and respond appropriately to potential threats.
  • Network segmentation: This divides a network into separate sub-networks, allowing third parties to secure entire segments from users who have no need for access.
  • Backups with multiple, tested copies: This is a well-known and vital safeguard against data loss.
  • Security policies: Third parties should have clearly defined policies relating to data privacy and security, as well as security procedures for departing employees.
  • Password requirements: Password complexity and changing requirements strengthen a network against password-related attacks like brute force, password spraying, and credentials theft.
  • Incident response plan: This demonstrates that a third party is prepared for an organized and effective response should a cyber event occur.
  • Cyber insurance: Such policies help to cover costs related to cyber incidents and indicate that a third party is paying attention to cyber risk management.

NexusTek supports businesses to develop third-party cyber risk management policies through Virtual CIO (vCIO) consultation and to build strong cyber defenses that protect others in their ecosystem.

Would you like to speak to a cybersecurity expert about managing third-party cyber risk?


  1. Coble, S. (2021, May 4). Third parties caused data breaches at 51% of organizations. Infosecurity Magazine. https://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/news/third-parties-breaches-at-51-of/
  2. Security. (2021, May 7). 51% of organizations have experienced a data breach caused by a third party. https://www.securitymagazine.com/articles/95143-of-organizations-have-experienced-a-data-breach-caused-by-a-third-party

How to Get Quick Productivity Gains Using Technology


How to Get Quick Productivity Gains Using Technology

If you’ve read about digital transformation, you may have come away with the impression that it’s a comprehensive, time-intensive revisioning of business IT that should not be expected to yield productivity or performance outcomes immediately. And that impression…well, it’s correct.

So, what if you’re looking to accelerate productivity for your business on a shorter timeline? You may be wondering whether there are IT upgrades that will increase productivity more quickly. The great news is that, yes, there are! This article reviews a handful of such ideas to consider.

Enable More Efficient Workflows​

Routine, repetitive tasks like filing, filling out forms, and routing documents eat up a sizable portion of many employees’ hours. In fact, office employees in the U.S. report that they spend about 40% of the work week on repetitive tasks1. Using technology tools to automate such tasks can boost organizational productivity by helping employees to move through repetitive, routine tasks more quickly. For example:

  • Business process automation software, such as Power BI, can boost organizational productivity by automating certain types of repetitive tasks that consume employees’ time
  • SharePoint can be used to create automated workflows, reducing the amount of time employees spend on repetitive tasks

Increase Efficiency of Communication​

Because organizational productivity is an inherently collaborative phenomenon, it can be seriously hampered by communication inefficiencies. If employees cannot reliably get in contact with one another, then productivity will suffer. Demonstrating the scale of this issue, one study found that employees waited an average of 5 hours every week to get in touch with coworkers who had information they needed to complete a task or project2.

Inefficient communication can degrade productivity in several ways. In one study, 44% of employees stated that communication issues led to project delays or even failure to complete projects entirely3. Almost a third of employees said that communication problems resulted in missed performance goals. A variety of IT solutions can rapidly boost productivity by improving the efficiency of team communication, such as:

  • Chat applications allow employees to reach out to coworkers throughout the organization and can be especially useful when a quick response is needed
  • Virtual desktop infrastructure allows employees to access their full workstations on any device with a browser and an internet connection, making it easier for employees to share information regardless of where they might be
  • Company intranet solutions allow you to create knowledge management systems that give employees instant access to the information they need to get their jobs done
  • Collaboration platforms like Microsoft Teams can improve communication clarity by offering multiple modalities to suit different communication styles, including chat, audio or video conferencing, and real-time screen or document sharing

Improve Organization & Time Management​

Poor time management is another common problem that erodes productivity. When employees fail to make efficient use of paid work hours, this can sharply reduce a firm’s overall productivity. To illustrate, one study found that spending 10-12 minutes planning your day each morning could save up to 2 hours in wasted or nonproductive time each day4.

Poor time management is often associated with disorganization. A common form of disorganization in the office is when employees have difficulty finding the information they need to do their jobs. And research has demonstrated that time spent looking for documents, files, or other information quickly adds up. In a survey of 1,000 knowledge workers, 25% reported spending about 2 hours each day looking for documents or information needed to complete their jobs5. Yet another study found that 57% of employees lost about 6 hours of productivity per week due to disorganization6.

A variety of technologies can be used to help your employees to make more efficient use of their time, including:

  • Shared task planners can help employees to prioritize and block out time for important tasks; when shared across team members, task planners can also clarify task progression and team members’ responsibilities, creating a more organized group process
  • Searchable personal file storage allows employees to conduct keyword searches of their own work documents to efficiently find items that they need to stay on track with assignments
  • Searchable shared file storage allows employees to conduct efficient keyword searches of files owned by their team, department, or across departments
  • Integrated application platforms such as Microsoft 365 allow employees to conduct keyword searches to easily locate files shared through email or over conferencing platforms, which keeps important documents from “falling through the cracks”

Bring In Outside IT Support​

Finally, a creative way of addressing employee productivity is to reduce the amount of time that non-technical employees spend dealing with IT issues. Many bosses are surprised to learn just how much time their managers and other employees spend dealing with the various IT issues that crop up over the course of the work week.

One survey revealed that non-IT workers spend about 22 minutes each day dealing with IT issues7. This may not sound like much until you consider the fact that it amounts to about 18 hours per year for each employee. Using a managed service provider for help desk services and other IT support gives your employees more time to do what they do best for your company.

NexusTek has over 25 years of supporting small and medium-sized businesses to increase productivity and efficiency through more effective use of business technology.

Are you interested in getting quick productivity gains? Consult with an IT expert today.


  1. (2021). How much time do we actually spend on recurring tasks? (Study 2021). https://clockify.me/time-spent-on-recurring-tasks
  2. (2019, October 16). Workplace productivity report: How much time is lost to knowledge sharing inefficiencies? https://www.panopto.com/blog/how-much-time-is-lost-to-knowledge-sharing-inefficiencies-at-work/
  3. The Economist Intelligence Unit. (2018). Communication barriers in the workplace. https://d2slcw3kip6qmk.cloudfront.net/marketing/pages/chart/ebooks/FINAL_EIU_Lucidchart_March2018.pdf
  4. (2022, April 18). Time management statistics and facts that will surprise you. https://trafft.com/time-management-statistics/
  5. Stone, B. (2022, February 10). Employees could leave jobs due to disorganization. TechRepublic. https://www.techrepublic.com/article/employees-could-leave-jobs-due-to-disorganization/
  6. Perrine, J. (2015, November 25). The struggle is real: Disorganization can cost you. Executive Support Magazine. https://executivesupportmagazine.com/the-struggle-is-real-disorganization-can-cost-you/
  7. (2016, March 22). Wasted workday: Employees lose over two weeks each year due to IT-related issues. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/wasted-workday-employees-lose-over-two-weeks-each-year-due-to-it-related-issues-300239058.html


Are Your IoT Devices Leaving the Door Open for Hackers?


Are Your IoT Devices Leaving the Door Open for Hackers?

Quick Quiz:

  1. Could smart light bulbs in your office provide threat actors an entryway into your IT network?
  2. Could a fish tank thermometer be a portal hackers exploit to steal your customers’ financial information?
  3. Could your smart fridge be part of a botnet used to launch distributed denial-of-service (DDOS) attacks?

Undeniably, these scenarios read like some sort of fever dream, like a dystopian novel written in 1993 when the World Wide Web was still young and full of mystery.

But in 2023, these scenarios are reality. Harnessing the global connectivity we now take for granted, the internet of things (IoT) has taken the world by storm, with a multitude of smart gadgets that feed our insatiable hunger for convenience, pique our curiosity about the leading edge of tech, and dazzle us, honestly, just by being plain “cool.” The enticing frontiers of tech often come with their risks, however, and with IoT, cybersecurity risks are significant for both individuals and businesses.

How Do IoT or “Smart” Devices Create Cybersecurity Risks for Businesses?

If your business uses IoT devices like smart thermostats, wearable technologies, smart assistants, or internet-accessible security cameras or doorbells, to name just a few, your entire IT network may be subject to cybersecurity risks common to such devices. These security risks emerge from factors including:

  • Poor or Limited Security Measures: Many smart devices are developed to meet cost and efficiency imperatives. The downside to such emphasis is often a lack of attention to security features. This can create cyber vulnerabilities due to issues like lack of encryption, substandard authentication processes, or failure to provide timely security updates.
  • Default User Credentials: IoT devices are often programmed with default usernames and passwords that do not meet strong password criteria. For example, manufacturers may designate default credentials that are well-known, that can be easily guessed, or that could be quickly unlocked by hackers using a password cracker. Although end users do have the option to change device credentials upon initial installation, many users fail to do so. This makes their IoT devices essentially an “unlocked front door” to their entire IT network.
  • Lack of Firmware Updates: As with any technology, IoT devices may have unidentified security vulnerabilities that are only discovered after they are released to the market. Standard practice for technology manufacturers is to release security updates as soon as possible to patch vulnerabilities that threat actors may exploit. However, although some IoT manufacturers may release regular firmware updates to fix these issues, there are still many that do not adhere to this well-established procedure for supporting customer cybersecurity. This leaves consumers in the difficult position of trying to identify which manufacturers they can rely on for updates, and which they cannot.
  • Substandard Encryption: Encryption, the process through which data is converted into a secret code that conceals the information it contains, is often insufficient in IoT devices. The result of poor encryption is that it makes it easier for threat actors to intercept and decipher user data that is transmitted over networks. This leads to serious privacy concerns.
  • Data Privacy Issues: Many users or businesses are unaware that IoT devices collect large amounts of data once they are deployed. If users are not fully aware of what data is being collected or how it will be used, they are clearly not empowered to make judgments with regard to data privacy. Importantly, if such data falls into the wrong hands—which the previous bullet established as a distinct possibility—it can place businesses, employees, and other entities in the business ecosystem at risk of identity theft or other privacy-related issues.
  • Physical Vulnerabilities: Finally, because IoT devices are often installed in public spaces or in easily accessible locations throughout the workplace, this makes them prone to tampering by malicious actors. Physically tampering with an IoT device can degrade its security, creating a window of opportunity for hackers looking for a way into the business’ IT network.

Protecting Your Business Against IoT Cybersecurity Risks

Given the above vulnerabilities, how is a business to proceed if it chooses to use smart devices in the workplace? Following are recommendations for protecting your business against IoT device-related cybersecurity risks:

  • Cybersecurity Assessment: Given the complexity and variability of IoT device cyber risks, most small and medium-sized business (SMB) leaders benefit from the counsel of a cybersecurity expert when addressing IoT-related cyber risks. To get a comprehensive picture of your organization’s security, with full attention to how any IoT devices may be affecting your security posture and how to secure each one, there is no substitute for a professional assessment.
  • Password Policy: An absolute must with IoT devices is that you establish a policy that requires changing default credentials upon installation. Furthermore, as with your devices and applications, your business should have mandatory password criteria that are communicated via a clear policy. For example, the policy should stipulate that all passwords meet requirements related to length, uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
  • Firmware Updates: As with any updates, firmware updates for IoT devices must be installed promptly. When considering the addition of new smart devices to your network, do your homework and identify manufacturers with good track records related to firmware updates.
  • Decommission Unsecured Devices: For those IoT devices that are not secure due to physical tampering or lack of firmware update availability, the safest choice is to remove them from your network and replace them with devices that can be secured.
  • Security Policy: IoT devices have become so commonplace that employees may use them in the workplace without thinking to notify IT. To counter this risk, communicate clear policies to employees regarding use of IoT devices in the workplace.
  • Multi-Layered Cybersecurity: Because IoT devices sit within a larger IT network, their compromise may open the door to malicious activity that spreads throughout the network. A multi-layered cybersecurity program contributes to the overall security of your entire network through monitoring and alerting functions that help you to identify, halt, and remediate any emerging threats in real-time.

Providing expert cybersecurity assessments, cybersecurity policy consultation, and a wide range of cybersecurity services and solutions, NexusTek has supported SMBs to maintain IT excellence for over 25 years.

Need guidance on securing IoT devices? Consult with a cybersecurity expert today.

Quiz Answers:

  1. Yes, this is possible. See this source for more information.
  2. Yes, this has occurred. See this source for more information.
  3. Yes, this has occurred. See this source for more information.

Sharpen Your Competitive Advantage: Using IT to Differentiate Your Business


Sharpen Your Competitive Advantage: Using IT to Differentiate Your Business

It goes without saying that, in highly competitive markets, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) need to carve out a niche in which they outshine their competitors. Many SMBs hone their competitive advantage by focusing exclusively on development of innovative products or services. Offering a superior product is a fabulous way of differentiating your business, but an angle that SMBs often ignore is use of IT infrastructure to enhance competitive advantage.

Your IT may seem like a given, like a set of tools that merely help you get through the day’s tasks. But the truth is that IT has grown into a monumental strategic resource for businesses of all sizes. Indeed, IT has become so tightly intertwined with business strategy that some experts propose that all businesses are now technology businesses.


Ways to Use IT to Enhance Competitive Advantage

Enhance Your Online Presence:

Today’s customers use online platforms to conduct pre-purchase research like never before. Many SMBs continue to use outdated and sluggish websites, but the customers of today are looking for more. In fact, 79% of customers report that they would be less likely to return to an online site if they weren’t happy with its speed1. In other words, slow websites lose customers. Getting the right foundational IT infrastructure can help you to develop a website that is modern, fast, and intuitive for customers. Expanding your online presence into social media channels gives you an edge as well, as customers are increasingly using social media to learn about and engage with brands.

Offer E-commerce Options:

Adding e-commerce options is an excellent way of expanding your customer base and taking a larger share of the market. Today’s buyers are picky about their purchasing channels, and 40% of consumers say that they won’t buy from a company that doesn’t offer their preferred channel2. With 55% of customers reporting a preference for fully online or hybrid (i.e., combination of in-store and online) shopping, adding online options is a great way of attracting customers away from your competitors3.

Offer Innovative Payment Options:

In addition to preferred buying channels, today’s customers also want to be able to use their preferred payment method when making a purchase. The options for payment methods have exploded over the last several years, and include solutions like digital wallets, contactless payments, and mobile payment solutions. Having multiple payment options simplifies the checkout process for your customers and enhances their experience with your brand.


Personalize the Customer Experience:

Customer relationship management (CRM) platforms allow businesses to retain information about customers that can be used to create a personalized experience. Importantly, 75% of customers say they are more likely to buy from companies that recognize them by name, know their purchase history, and suggest new products based on their purchase history4. Customers will want to be assured that their personal information does not fall into the wrong hands, so a multi-layered cybersecurity regimen is a must.


Improve Speed and Accuracy of Service:

The speed and accuracy of your service can set you apart from competitors. Take advantage of solutions like cloud-based project management platforms, collaboration and communication applications, and automation software to amplify productivity while reducing costs. Your business can also optimize supply chain management through the use of IT solutions to manage inventory tracking and logistics, improving both speed and accuracy of order fulfillment.


Add Self-Service Options to Website:

Although customers appreciate and expect companies to provide live communication with company representatives for certain types of questions, for some types of inquiries, customers now show a strong preference for self-service options. Specifically, 68% of customers prefer using self-service options to conduct foundational research and to get answers to simple questions5. Such options might take the form of self-service portals on your website, or various fact sheets or knowledge bases that they can access online independently.

By taking advantage of the plethora of modern technologies available today, SMBs can differentiate themselves, elevate customer experience, boost operational efficiency, and gain a competitive edge in the market.

NexusTek helps SMBs to strengthen their competitive advantage by providing strategic IT consulting, best-in-class cybersecurity solutions, modern workplace applications, top-tier cloud solutions, and managed IT to keep your infrastructure running smoothly.

Would you like to talk with an expert about using IT to strengthen your competitive advantage?


  1. Wilson, A. (2022). Why site speed is so important: Conversions, loyalty, and Google search ranking. Shopify. https://www.shopify.com/blog/site-speed-importance#:~:text=In%20an%20era%20of%20instant,users%20by%20up%20to%2027%25
  2. (2019). State of the connected customer, third edition. https://www.salesforce.com/content/dam/web/en_us/www/assets/pdf/salesforce-state-of-the-connected-customer-report-2019.pdf
  3. Haller, K., Wallace, M., Cheung, J., & Gupta, S. (2022). Consumers want it all: Hybrid shopping, sustainability, and purpose-driven brands. IBM. https://www.ibm.com/downloads/cas/YZYLMLEV
  4. (2022, August 15). How customer experience drives digital transformation. https://www.superoffice.com/blog/digital-transformation/
  5. (2019). State of the connected customer, third edition. https://www.salesforce.com/content/dam/web/en_us/www/assets/pdf/salesforce-state-of-the-connected-customer-report-2019.pdf