Cloud storage is becoming more and more common, for both individuals and businesses of all sizes. How can you be sure your cloud data is secure? Recent breaches at banks, retailers, and even Ashley Madison reveal that data is not always as safe as we would like it to be.
You can still enjoy the convenience of cloud storage and access everything it has to offer without the constant worry about security. These simple but effective steps can help you use the cloud more efficiently and securely and ensure that any information you place online stays safe and private.
5 Ways to Secure your Cloud Data
Get Serious About Passwords
How clever is your password? It may be all that is standing between your sensitive data and hackers. If you are relying on clever keyboard placement tricks or using your birthday, name or the name of a pet or child, it is likely time to make a change. No matter what cloud service you use, your data is only as secure as the password you use.
One of the most common data security problems has nothing to do with your hardware or software; it is a purely human, or wetware error. When you choose an easy to guess password, share your password with others, or write it down where it could be spotted, then your data is in jeopardy, whether you know it or not.
Avoiding common passwords, even if they sound clever or are convenient, can also help protect your data in the cloud and keep your files secure. If you are using a common password or one that is all too easy to guess, ditch it to improve your overall security. According to Gizmodo, some of the most common and easy to guess passwords include:
Protect your data in the cloud by choosing a complex password that features letters, numbers, special characters, and a mix of capitalized and lowercase letters. Choosing the right password is one of the easiest (but most often overlooked) ways to secure your data in the cloud.
Avoid Storing your Most Sensitive Data in the Cloud
Choose other, more secure storage options for your most sensitive data; doing this ensures your most important information stays safe. The cloud can be incredibly convenient for individuals working on multiple projects or teams working on the same project. Data that is already shared or that is not a high-security risk can be safely stored online. If your business is like most, you’ll have some proprietary information you’ll need to protect, but you can still store the majority of your data in the cloud.
Make sure the only people who have access to your cloud data truly need to have it. Your own team, third-party vendors, and others who need access to your stored information should only be allowed to see the files relevant to their work. You should also change passwords, or access levels after an employee leaves or a contractor completes a project. Limiting access helps protect your data and preserves the integrity of your cloud network, too.
It might sound like something from a spy film, but you don’t need to be 007 or Jason Bourne to use it. It is fast and easy to encrypt your data with software and then allow access to only those users or recipients with the right password. Encryption greatly increases your security. Even if someone is able to break in and access your network, they will not be able to read or use your data.
Work with a Managed Security Services Provider
A managed security services provider or MSSP can help you mitigate risk and secure your network in a variety of ways, often with automated methods that prevent theft and alert you to the signs of a problem. When security is automated, you don’t have to worry about cutting corners when you are in a hurry or accidentally uploading a piece that should have been encrypted first.
Your data is the core of your business, and if you can’t afford a business interruption or forced downtime, taking steps now to prevent a breach or theft is essential. Learning more about the most common ways data is vulnerable can help preserve your network and protect your entire business.