For many, the idea of securely storing data and other information over the internet rather than a traditional hard or external drive can be unnerving. With hackers headlining the news regularly, it’s no wonder people are skeptical of this advanced technology. How can you be sure no one is accessing your business’s files or altering your information?
While you can never be 100 percent certain, there are several cloud security strategies you can take to ensure vital data and information is as secure as possible.
The following six tips outline the most reliable cloud security methods in the industry.
1. Reconsider storing vital information
Even with cloud security at its finest, you should still be hyper aware of what your business actually stores in the cloud. While common company data, software, manuals, projects, etc. are typically ideal for cloud storage, things like bank account numbers, Social Security numbers, passwords and other sensitive information should be stored elsewhere.
2. Know the ins and outs
Contrary to the fate of many owner’s manuals and user agreements that end up at the bottom of the trash or stuffed in a junk drawer, the cloud’s user agreement should be easily accessible as it can get you up to speed on how service storage works. Whether you’re unsure of which cloud storage to utilize, have questions or concerns about your current storage or are interested in switching storage options, the user agreement can help.
With answers to common questions and information on the ins and outs of cloud storage, your user agreement can be much more beneficial than you might assume. Furthermore, by fully understanding how cloud storage works, you can be more decisive when it comes to what information should and should not be saved to the cloud as well as how to prevent risks and resolve issues in the future.
3. Put on the password pressure
One of the easiest ways for critical information and data to be hacked is through weak passwords. In fact, approximately 90 percent of all passwords can be cracked by professionals in just seconds. That’s why it’s critical that you and your team place special importance on creating hack-proof passwords. Here’s how:
- Select a long, random word (i.e., technology)
- Add the name of the program you’re creating a password for to the end of your chosen word (i.e., technologycloud)
- Include a specific set of numbers between the two words, like a birthday, address or special date (i.e., technology52817cloud)
By following this password equation, you can create a strong, secure password that’s not difficult to remember.
4. Encrypt the script
One of the most reliable cloud security strategies is encryption. To encrypt a file, use specific software to create a unique password for the file (see the previous tip) and then move it to the cloud, where the only way anyone can access the data is with the file’s password. Free multiplatform software programs only accept files in a specific format, which, though a bit more complex, provides reliable overall protection for your company’s data. Other programs require more time and energy but allow you to keep all your files protected with various algorithms that provide an even higher level of protection.
5. Start with a service
If you’re still concerned about the safety and security of cloud computing for your business, consider starting with a cloud security service. Providers offering these professional services provide an array of functions like easy encryption and decryption of your files as well as additional storage and backup. By using a cloud service provider, you won’t have to worry if employees are properly encrypting the files on their computers and uploading them safely to the cloud. Instead, you can have peace of mind knowing that virtually no one, not even the service providers or administrators, will have access to crucial files.
In today’s fast-paced, digital era, the world of cloud computing is still young. But with more and more businesses turning to the cloud for storage and backup, having an early understanding of how to best store and secure your data over the internet will keep you and your business safe.
Kurt Richter is a co-founder of Lightstream and has been in the technology industry since high school, when he began his own networking and consulting business. Kurt’s areas of expertise include infrastructure architecture for both enterprise and service provider levels, internetwork design, security, network operations, data engineering and troubleshooting, as well as business technology development and consulting.