Must follow tips for data security on cloud
Cloud technology has become an increasingly popular deployment option. It’s become one of the most convenient choices to store data because of its ease of access and affordability compared to on-premises data storage. Whether it’s using email and Dropbox for communication or managing your entire business through SaaS platforms, millions of people every day use some type of cloud service to store their data.
Although cloud companies do take measures to protect their clients’ data, there are still steps you should take to make sure your data is immune to leaks, thefts and cyberattacks. After all, you can never be too careful with your company’s sensitive information. Especially when you hear news stories about how 40 billion records were exposed in just 2021.
Top Tips for data security on cloud
So, here are some must-follow tips for keeping your data safe on the cloud.
Use multilevel authentication (MAL) –
We all have sensitive information on the Cloud, and most of the time we don’t even realize when someone is trying to illegally acquire that information unless we have a multi-level authentication process in place. That’s why you get an alert when you try to access your Google account from a new device.
Multi-level authentication processes add another layer of security to your standard passwords, which are often easy to guess if they’re not strong enough. You can achieve MLA by using two or more identity verifications. For example, you can use a multi-level authentication process that adds a pin number or an OTP (One Time Password) along with the standard password. You can also employ smart cards and biometrics.
Despite your multiple warnings and reminders, chances are that your employees will continue using weak passwords like “password” or “123456.” According to Verizon’s 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report, 80% of hacking-related breaches involved passwords, either through stolen credentials or brute force attacks.
Make your passwords stronger
If you want to protect your data, you need to have a strong password. And no, birthdays and anniversaries don’t count. Also, don’t use the same password for everything. That’s why its important to educate your team on what constitutes a good password strategy. Having a strong password is the best way to protect your data 80% of the time in the Cloud or otherwise.
When you use a common password like “qwerty”, “abc123”, or “company name”, a computer (or even a human) can crack them in seconds. The longer and less obvious your password is, the harder it is for someone to crack it. The best passwords have 12 characters, including numbers, symbols and upper- and lowercase letters. If you use all lowercase or all uppercase letters, they can still be hacked within minutes. And don’t use a pet’s name or your significant other’s name as your password—if someone breaks into their social media account and sees those names there, they’ll probably try them on yours, too!
My last tip on password hygiene is to update them regularly, especially for portals where you store sensitive information.
Also Read: What is file ///sdcard/
Backup your data
You might have heard the saying, ‘never put all your eggs in one basket’. Well, the same concept applies to data storage. We know that one of the benefits of cloud computing is that you don’t have to worry about syncing and updating all your data. However, it’s a good idea to keep a backup copy of your data just in case. Nothing is scarier than losing all your data because of a mistake or technical issues. That is why it’s so critical to have a backup of your data, no matter how reliable cloud platforms are.
Most cloud providers let you save multiple versions of your data, so that you can recover data from a certain point in time. My advice is to opt for this option if you don’t already have it. This way, you can ensure that you never lose any important data and avoid serious downtime in case of errors, a mistake by an employee, or data breaches and cyberattacks.
Have role-based access control –
Not everyone in your organization needs access to all of your company data. For example, contractors shouldn’t have access to information on projects they aren’t working on. You also don’t want employees who don’t have the skills required for a certain role making changes to its data. Therefore, it’s important to have role-based access controls that will give users permissions according to their job function.
It is a good idea to take the time to organize and check your permissions so that you can avoid any problems and security breaches in the future.
Encrypt your data –
Encrypting your data means changing it into a secret code or ciphertext that can only be read by someone who has the decryption key. By encrypting your data, you can ensure that even if somebody gets their hands on your information, it is nearly impossible for them to read it unless they advance their cryptography skills.
There are several ways you can encrypt your files before uploading them to a cloud service. One option is to use an app or other software to encrypt your files before uploading them; another option is to use a cloud service that provides end-to-end data encryption. This extra layer of security means that anything you share and store on the cloud will be protected at all times.
Firewalls, anti-virus and VPNs are a must –
Even if you store your data on a cloud, it can still be compromised if you don’t have proper hardware security measures in place. Malware can still infect your devices and hamper your local and even cloud data. Use firewalls, which are one of the most effective ways to protect your network against malicious software that might find its way onto your data via the internet.
Make sure your devices are running a good anti-virus program, and that you clean them up regularly so that you don’t accidentally download malware from the internet.
You can also protect your devices by using VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) to hide your IP address, creating a private network for you when you’re sharing and receiving information on the internet.
We have seen that there are many ways your data can be compromised even if it’s stored in the cloud. For example, malware and weak passwords can lead to ransomware attacks, where hackers hold your files ransom until you pay them money in exchange for their return. In 2021, this accounted for $20 billion in losses.
In 2021, the Colonial pipeline attack showed us just how crucial data security is and that security breaches can happen anywhere. We all have weak points in our data security that can be exploited. But thankfully it is also easy to ensure that our data is protected if we adhere to some of these best practices and are careful about how we share our data.
Shivani Sehta is a marketing enthusiast and content writer at World Fashion Exchange a leading Apparel ERP Software and PLM software company for fashion. She specializes in writing content about the latest technology trends. In her free time, she likes to dance and spend time with nature.