The Ins and Outs of Cloud Security
No doubt you will have heard a lot about cloud security in recent years. Whether you use iCloud or similar services on your phone, or use the cloud at work for backups, it’s an excellent way of storing your files remotely so you can access them on the go. However, you may not have used the cloud out of worry about security, and while the cloud can be vulnerable, by following a few simple procedures you can keep your data safe. Here are a few things you need to consider when using the cloud.
If you’re thinking of using the cloud for your business or personal data, you should consider what you’re going to be storing on this network. A study that analyzed files stored on the cloud found that over 16% of files contained personal information which included social security numbers, credit card details, medical records and even top secret documents. Any documents that contain personal, identifying information should be secured, whether it’s a job application or personal letter.
Some of the biggest hacks you’ve seen on the news often come about because companies haven’t encrypted their files. In some cases, passwords were stored in plain text, which meant that anyone who accessed the database could see them. When you upload data to the cloud, consider using encryption, as this will keep sensitive information safe from prying eyes. Even if you already use an encrypted cloud service, you can still encrypt your files before uploading to provide additional security and reassurance.
Take reasonable security measures
Many hacks that are carried out on the cloud aren’t all that sophisticated, they can involve scamming someone out of their password or even just guessing it. Therefore, it’s important to take the usual precautions that you would with any IT environment. Make sure you have a good antivirus software such as McAfee installed, as this will scan incoming e-mails and your system for malware, and enable two-factor authentication wherever possible. For example, if you’re using an Apple product, you can set it up so that even if someone knows your password, it’s difficult for them to access your account.
You can never 100% trust that your files are safe on the cloud, and while a data breach can be awful for you or your business, things get even trickier if the data is also lost. Make sure you have local backups for important files, so if the worst happens, you at least have a copy of the files.
Hack your own system
One of the best ways to identify weaknesses in your system is to hire an ethical hacker who can try to access your data. This will show flaws such as out of date security measures and any loopholes that might arise.
It’s very easy to get complacent about IT security and only do something to secure your system after it’s compromised, but when it comes to using the cloud, you need to pay extra attention to the data you’re putting out there and whether it can be accessed by prying eyes.