5 practical tips to keeping your cloud data secure
In the current business landscape, the advantages that cloud computing services have to offer SMBs are numerous. More and more businesses are adopting cloud computing services to benefit from significant cost efficiencies and data storage capabilities.
However, as firms race to implement cloud data, there are also emerging cases of cloud data breaches of large multination companies. According to Symantec, approximately half of all corporate data is saved on the cloud. The longer the data remains on the cloud, the more likely there will be threats of data theft.
If you are thinking of transferring valuable business data on the cloud database, then here are 5 practical tips through which you can ensure greater security.
“Recently, trust in cloud storage has been undermined somewhat by the Snowden leaks and growing fears about privacy. I think it’s too early to say whether this will affect the take-up of cloud services significantly. Although, it may well ensure that security issues become a key part of the negotiations between cloud providers and prospective clients.”
- David Emm, Kaspersky Lab Senior security researcher
Use complex passwords
Passwords are one easy way to prevent hackers from accessing valuable company data and information. However, with the evolution of data hacking software and other applications and tools, password security also needs to be heightened to prevent abuse. Passwords that are less than 10 characters and are in simple words stand the greatest risk from cyber criminals.
Therefore, all company employees need to be instructed to use lengthy passwords that employ numbers and upper and lower case letters, special symbols, and numbers. It is essential that passwords should are not easily deciphered or guessed from hackers.
Limit authorization of data
Another way to deter hackers from gaining access to your data is to limit the authorization of data to key personnel. Depending upon the nature of the data, the access should only be granted to senior management personnel.
If it requires that staff, vendors or suppliers also need access to data, then it should be ensured that the access should only be limited to that necessary for completing their tasks. Anything beyond that should be strictly prohibited.
Encrypt your data
CIOs and IT Managers should take sufficient time, tools and resources to ensure that all of company data stored in the cloud is encrypted using the most advanced settings and features. Using a highly advanced encryption technology can fortify your cloud network security and corporate data from malicious software, phishing, and other software applications that are used by hackers to gain access.
More importantly, the right vendor offering cloud computing needs to be checked if advanced encryption technology is also offered and featured in the contract.
Back up confidential files and data
It is also crucial for SMBs to have a backup of their data on scheduled times be it monthly or weekly. All one requires is plugging a secure, high data external hard drive to your system and duplicating the data. Special importance needs to be put on backing up customer and employee profiles, financial records and future business plans and strategies.
Avoid storing confidential data
Companies should also consider the nature of the data they need to store in the cloud. If the data is sensitive and confidential, then it would be unnecessary to store such data on a network that has some risk of security breaches. However, other non-critical data such as web based applications should be transferred to the cloud.