The news is packed full of security breaches and hacking scandals, with new stories appearing almost daily. If you keep your information on the cloud – or are even just considering it – then you shouldn’t neglect the importance of cloud data security. While many cloud services have robust security options, every website and service is only as secure as the weakest link in the chain. For most services, the weakest link is you, the end-user. Here are 7 ways to keep your data safe in the cloud. Also check out this beginners guide to best web hosting, to get an idea of who is amongst the best web hosts around.
1. Don’t Use Similar Passwords for Different Applications
The most important thing you can do for cloud security is to mix up different passwords. It’s common for people to use the same passwords for different apps, but this is a huge security risk. Using the same password means that if someone cracks into one account, they can crack into any account that shares that password. It is difficult to remember all these different passwords, but there are plenty of apps and programs that store these passwords and remind you of them so you won’t forget them.
You’d be surprised at how many people continue to use basic passwords like “password” and “12345678” despite all the warnings against such obvious passwords. What are the chances that one of your employees has such a simple password and could open the floodgates to your sensitive information? If you or your employees are having trouble coming up with different unique passwords then use an app or program to generate random passwords for you.
2. Create and Use Complex Passwords
Using different passwords for different accounts is one thing, but the passwords you do use should be complex and difficult, if not impossible, to guess. A great password combines numbers, letters, and symbols to create something unique. Don’t use a simple recognizable word as your password. Also be careful to avoid using common keyboard combinations, such as “QWERTY”.
Password apps help you to create better passwords, thus creating better security. There are even custom apps that you can create and use to ensure complete reliability and security from your password generator.
3. Keep Passwords Secure
You should never share login credentials and password information. You should also avoid writing them down. If you have to use a public computer or find yourself in a situation where you must share your password, be sure to log out and change your password as soon as possible.
4. Establish Cloud Security Policies
Before moving databases and files to the cloud, be sure that you’ve created and implemented a robust cloud security policy. Your cloud security policy should control password creation and sharing, and also control and cover all devices connected to the cloud. The policy should also cover plans for when devices are lost or stolen as a connected device could become a security risk if left unchecked.
5. Register Every Device
The advantage of using cloud computing is that users are able to access databases and information from any device at any time. This is great for functionality and productivity, but it does present a security risk. Make sure that all your employees register all the devices they plan on accessing information with through the IT department. Any device that connects to the database should be kept updated with the latest firmware and software updates for added security. If a connected device is lost, stolen, or replaced, then there should be protocols in place to ensure that data on the cloud stays secure. One option is to remove the connected device from the cloud network.
6. Keep Regular Backups
Most cloud services automate backup procedures to ensure data is always available and safe in the event of an emergency. It also helps to keep your own offline backup so that your data is kept in two separate locations. The more locations your data is kept in, the more secure it is because you have more backups to draw from. Make sure that employees keep their own important data backed up too so everyone is on the same page.
7. Communication is Key
Communication is the heart of any good relationship, and that includes the relationship between users and the cloud. One of the biggest security hazards is a lack of communication. Make sure that all employees understand the security protocol and that they are following said protocols. Ensure any changes to these security protocols are effectively communicated to your employees so they have all the latest information. You might need to invest in training employees in proper cloud safety. There’s no point in adopting security protocols if no one knows what they are and isn’t following them.
Online databases and cloud storage should be safe so long as everyone does their part to keep things that way. Choose a cloud service provider that has robust security measures, and implement your own security best practices and techniques. The best protection is only as strong as the weakest link. It is up to everyone in the chain to keep things secure.