Most entrepreneurs around the world are adopting cloud storage due to its scalability, accessibility, and less IT overhead, making it cheaper. Despite its convenience, the security of cloud storage is now a concern in many establishments as employees have access to organizations data from anywhere and anytime. Staff can also use any device to access the data.
In comparison to locally implemented hardware, cloud storage is way cheaper hence cost-effective. However, storing confidential and sensitive files their exposes your business to new risks. This is because the cloud is out of the safeguard limits you would implement within your premises for data protection. In other words, it is out of your control.
The inception of the IoT (Internet of Thing) and connected office technology has increased the dependency of industries reliance on cloud technology regardless of the security risks. There is a higher risk of unintended leakage or compromise with more devices connecting to the internet.
The biggest challenge threatening cloud security is the use of cloud storage and sharing of files that do not meet security standards or are not approved by the IT department. Your employees can compromise the security of sensitive company data intentionally or out of ignorance.
Fortunately, there are ways to improve your data security even when using the cloud. Here are some ten solutions.
1. Avoid storing your sensitive data in the cloud
Keep off sensitive data from the cloud or virtual space as no cloud storage guarantees 100 percent security. Organizations that opt for cloud storage services risk more threats than those that store their files locally. Remove all sensitive data that you intend to store in the cloud. Restrict sensitive data to storage within your controls.
2. Effective password management
Among your IT department roles is managing multiple accounts of the employees, which makes it hard to develop a foolproof security framework for your enterprise. However, strong passwords developed and managed through the password management tools will help. Strong passwords entail a mixture of letters, numbers, and symbols in no particular order. Change your passwords regularly and whenever an employee departs as your code of ethics no longer binds them.
End-users should create passwords that are hard to guess but easy for them to remember. Consider software services that create and store passwords if you wish to keep track of many passwords. Do not store them in a computer, or open places and ensure that you remember the master passwords you create.
3. Use multi-factor authentication
Using multi-factor authentication is safer to prevent the hacking, misplacement, and compromising of passwords. Multi-factor authentication requires another factor to verify identification besides your username and passcode. The third factor may be a voice analysis, unique code, or fingerprint, that only the user has access to, separately generated. All these are effective in the reinforcement of data security as they keep off intruders.
Consider encrypting data at the source, in transit and all the way. Cybersecurity analysts confirm that encrypting data at the source is safest. Ensure to manage the key yourself. Use end to end encryption when transporting data to reinforce security, though data on transit is secured by the advent of SDN with virtualization of the network. Keep all your interaction with your CSP’s server over SSL transmission for security.
Encryption ensures that you comply with contractual obligations, regulatory requirements to handle sensitive data, and privacy policies for data at rest. When you store data in cloud storage disks, encrypt it. Also, ensure that you encrypt the encryption keys with regular rotated master keys. The CSP should provide level field encryption and specify the fields you wish to encrypt (like CFP, SSN, credit number among others).
5. Use of rigorous and ongoing vulnerability testing
The CSP you adopt should use outstanding incident and vulnerability response tools. Solutions from the response tool need to support automated security assessments fully to test for the weakness of the system. It also shortens the time between crucial security audits. Scans are performed on schedule or demand.
6. Manage access using user-level data security
You should enjoy accurate role-based access control (RBAC) features which allow set up for user-specific data editing permissions and access. Ideally, the system should permit access to exceptional grained, control-based, and enforced duty segregation within an establishment. This helps maintain compliance with internal and external data security standards like COBIT and HITRUST frameworks.
7. Insist on rigorous compliance certifications
The industry’s two most important certifications are:
3 Type II or SOC 2: Helps in the regulation in regulatory compliance oversight, internal risk management processes, and vendor management programs. SOC 3 or SOC 2 confirms that a software service like CSP is specifically designed and rigorously managed to give the highest security level.
PCI DSS: A SaaS provider undergoes a detailed audit to ensure that sensitive data is processed, transmitted, and stored in a fully secure and protected manner to get this certification. The all-around security standards include software design, policies, network architecture, procedures, security management, among other critical protective measures.
8. Use of a defined data deletion policy
Define and enforce a clear data deletion policy with your clients. At the end of the clients’ data retention period, the data is programmatically deleted as the contract defines, which results in more storage space. It also prevents unauthorized access of data.
9. Use data backups
Always remember that cloud storage (or sync) does not substitute back up. Whenever data is deleted from the cloud end, it is removed from the local machine as well. Most cloud services do not give excellent revision histories for files that are synchronized when booting.
Use online back up to protect against data loss. Here, multiple data backups, including those offsite, are crucial. Online backup services often update your data, complete with granular revisions. Store your data and make sure it is encrypted in a third-party data
10. Employee education and sensitisation
Educating employees on the risks associated with cloud adoption is crucial. The awareness should be in addition to the implementation of stringent security solutions that protect your data from unauthorized access and enforcement of cloud security policies. It is also crucial to teach them the need to protect their passwords, by secure storage and endpoint services. Employees should void sharing passwords or writing it carelessly.
The bottom line
As more companies undertake cloud adoption, cloud storage security is becoming a priority in IT architecture and information security strategies. Companies are now more aware of the need to protect their data as they enable their staff to enjoy the performance and flexibility of the cloud. Just as new threats on data security emerge, establishments must be vigilant to keep their files secure.
You will share cloud storage responsibility with your CSP, Ergo. The CSP is responsible for the implementation of baseline protections like authentication, encryption, and data access controls processed on the platforms. You will eventually supplement the encryption on your end with reinforced security to tighten access to sensitive information and bolster cloud data protection.