By Sarah Kearns, Senior Communications Manager, BizDb
As more and more businesses are shifting their data storage and even some of their software needs to the cloud, security concerns are growing. Hackers are always just a step behind the latest security measures, so it’s important to take cloud security very seriously. Here are a seven tips for preventing cloud security threats.
One of the most important things that you can do is to make sure that all your employees understand their role in helping to protect your data security. Having a comprehensive training for all employees when you begin the move to the cloud is critical, as is making sure that all new employees are given the same instruction as part of their onboarding process.
- Backup Data
While the cloud is known for its redundancy and ability to maintain service by bouncing traffic to different servers all over the world in the blink of an eye, it’s important to remember that there are occasionally problems that result in losses of data. No matter what guarantees a service might give you, always remember to maintain your own local backups just in case.
All of your files, data, and correspondence should be encrypted. Encryption transforms your digital data into a code that is all but unreadable unless you have the proper encryption key. The good news is that it is possible to encrypt your data yourself, and then send it to the cloud while maintaining control of the keys. This way, even if there is a breach and your data is taken, there isn’t much anyone outside your organization will be able to do with it.
Use of a VPN is critical if you have users that access your data and servers remotely. A VPN creates a secure pathway over the internet that behaves much the same way that an internal network does. It will keep data and communications safe from attacks while still allowing those who need access to have it safely.
- Strong Passwords
One area that security can be addressed is with passwords. As the owner of the information, you have the right to require password protocols for employees setting up their accounts. In fact, you can begin referring to passwords as passphrases, and teach your employees to come up with a short phrase or sentence to input, instead of just a word or series of numbers. The key to strong passwords is length, not complexity as we’ve been taught for years. An 8-character password can be cracked in seconds with “brute force” attacks that simply try every possible combination, whereas a 20-character password will take years.
- Clear Data Governance Policies
If you’re not familiar with the term, data governance simply refers to the policies in place to determine how data and information are to be classified, stored, managed, and accessed at all points along the network. This is one of the biggest areas where security can fall through, simply by not having strong policies in place to address who can access your information and when they can do it.
- Limit Access
One of the biggest concerns for large companies is restricting access to those that need to have access. All of your employees that are accessing any data on the cloud should be fully vetted and should only be given security clearance or access to the information that they need in order to do their work. IT professionals that are maintaining communications systems don’t need to have access to customer account information.
Moving all of your data management to the cloud doesn’t have to increase security risks. Following some common sense guidelines and the above seven security tips should help to prevent any threats your company might face.
About the Author
Sarah Kearns is a hard working mother of three daughters. She is a Senior Communications Manager for BizDb, an online resource with information about businesses in the UK. She loves cooking, reading history books and writing about green living.